Learn skills from month of writing

By Gina Lorusso

For all you avid writers out there, or for those of you who just enjoy writing, November is more than Thanksgiving and football.

It’s National Novel Writing Month, and it’s a big deal for the many students with a passion for writing.

Whether writing a research essay, spilling secrets to a diary or putting skills to work in a job, National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, gives recognition and encouragement to do what we do best.

Some student writers on campus, like senior English major Kristina Kroger, are aspiring novelists.

“My goal this November is to complete the second part of my fantasy novel,” Kroger said. “Many authors want that Pulitzer Prize or huge recognition like that, but I just want my readers to really enjoy my writing and to become saddened at the end of the book because they enjoyed it so much.”

There are quite a few resources, clubs and organizations on campus that encourage the writing world. The University Writing Center provides the information, skills and feedback you need to improve your writing.

“We have many graduate students and faculty members from all different academic backgrounds to give students the help and guidance they need for their papers,” said center Director Gail Jacky. “Many of our staff members have over five years of experience, and we also have a few graduate students with bachelor degrees. We are well-rounded and here for the students.”

For those who enjoy creative writing as a hobby, the University Writing Center can help.

“Our consultants turn into the audience for the creative writers that come in,” Jacky said. “We encourage their writing to make connections with us and to produce flow and a deeper meaning than maybe what is just on paper.”

The University Writing Center is open daily at Stevenson Hall. Another resource students have to express artistic writing is an organization called Impact Makars. The group promotes creative writing, thinking and uniqueness in the community.

“We as an organization call our spoken word group the Slam Team,” said founder and President Jamael Clark. “We started out with about 10 members and would like to promote ourselves and expand.”

Clark and the rest of his organization set goals for writing, poetry and spoken word to compete in competitions rather than to impress an audience.

“We want to do something that reveals something deeper than ourselves to our audiences,” Clark said. “We feel the connections through our work. Our goal is not to impress them, but to inspire them.”

With all these resources available, why not take a stab at NaNoWriMo? Even if you don’t want to write a novel, that doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from taking part in the celebration of written word.

Write a poem, a short story or a goofy screenplay with your friends. The event’s purpose is to inspire you to write, so grab a pen and a notebook and scribble away.