Creative writing club forms positive community

The Writing Center is open after hours, but no tutoring sessions take place 7 p.m. on Wednesday evenings. Open the door to the Writing Center and walk toward the coat hanger where a blue origami bird is suspended from a string on the ceiling. Take a left and walk toward the lighted room, and follow the laughter. Inside, eight students sit at a table eating snacks. The members of Notes From the Underground, Truman State University’s creative writing club, sit on swivel chairs and talk.

The members of Notes From the Underground typically gather on these Wednesdays to workshop one of the members’ writing pieces.

Pictures of former writing consultants smile from the walls as the club gets to work on critiquing a member’s writing. She reads a section of her work aloud and the group shows approval by snapping. Then the workshop begins.

“General meetings are really focused on a specific writer’s work, one at a time, spotlight-style,” explained vice president senior Cole Piedimonte.

The members discuss what they like about the story, including language and characters. They offer suggestions, starting from a different scene in the story and adding more dialogue. Occasionally, discussion strays into laughter and chatter among the members.

Piedimonte said it’s important to be comfortable in a group so trust can develop among members. He said this is especially important when sharing personal work, which can be a terrifying experience for writers.

“It’s kind of an intimate thing to share your writing with someone, and that can be especially scary in large groups,” Piedimonte said. “Notes is a group that is both critical and supportive of creative work, which is so important to us as writers.”

To learn more about Notes From the Underground, pick up a copy of The Index on March 1.