By Katlyn Kritz
Youngstown State University is home to a creative writing group that allows students to express themselves and critique their works.
Amanda Miller, graduate student in fine art in fiction, said the group is a great place for writers to get feedback on things they’ve written.
“Half of the time we critique written work from those who submit,” she said. “When someone submits, we have an open discussion with the author involved.”
When the members of the group are not critiquing works they’re discussing the theory of writing and other subjects that will further the members’ skill level.
“We discuss poetry, prose, novels, nonfiction and anything else the members are interested in,” Miller said.
Angela Messenger, coordinator for the Writing Center, said she wanted to create a space for students to meet and workshop, specifically for students who couldn’t take creative writing classes.
“There are wonderful groups on campus like Student Literary Arts Association and Penguin Review as well,” Messenger said. “We hope to be able to keep non-English majors aware of all these opportunities.”
She said that having students who view themselves as writers meeting in the Writing Center helps breakdown the idea the Writing Center is only for developmental writers.
April is national poetry month which means the group will have poetry activities each week. Karen Schubert, poetry writing instructor, said creative writing gives people the opportunity to understand themselves.
“Creative writing gives the chance to connect with people around us and at a distance through time and geography,” Schubert said.
She finds that poetry specifically can give a different view of the world through language, but it goes beyond that.
“There is a lot of pressure on the language to carry the meaning,” she said.
Schubert said her best advice to someone looking to write poetry is to try to mimic a poem.
“Read poetry. There are so many poets writing today … try to mimic a poem,” she said. “Take workshops with different poets, join a workshop group … don’t hesitate to make a change to your poem. Revision is a powerful tool.”
Members of the YSU creative writing group workshop their poetry in order to have their pieces published. The members’ works are frequently published in various campus outlets.
“Our members have been published all over campus in the various avenues like Jenny Magazine, Penguin Review and have won essay contests,” Miller said.
Miller said another great thing about the YSU creative writing group is its diversity.
“It is a diverse group with expansive interest and incredible talent,” she said. “The members provide great feedback and put forth some interesting material that we all get to discuss.”
The YSU creative writing group meets Fridays at 2 p.m. in the Writing Center in the basement of Maag Library.