December 11, 2019
The Creative Writing Club, a new initiative at AUCA this semester, has drawn an audience of students from across the university to participate in creative exercises and hear from professionals about their writing experience. The club is a joint effort of the Academic Advising Center and the Writing & Academic Resource Center (WARC), which also offers writing tutoring.
Nurshoola Aibek kyzy, a junior in the ICP department who also tutors writing at the WARC, has been a frequent attendee of Creative Writing Club events from the beginning. “For me, it was interesting to hear what professors said about how students should write or how they can improve their writing skills,” she said.
The first talk of the semester, a discussion on audience and genre led by Prof. James Plumtree, was standing room only. Students were asked to rewrite a description of a news item for several different readerships, noting what changes they made each time and why. The next talk, given by Prof. Clyde Forsberg, focused on the professor’s personal experiences writing and publishing.
Nurshoola Aibek kyzy, who mostly writes personal reflections and short poetry, says that she thinks most students come to the club to “put some color into their writing.”
“Usually when we write something, we write it in black or white, and I would love to add some emotions, to learn how to transfer those emotions to the reader,” she said. Such skills were the focus of the club’s most recent event, entitled “The Writer as Observer.” Erica Eisen, the WARC coordinator and club co-organizer along with Academic Advising Director Gulnur Esenalieva, led the group in a series of activities aimed at strengthening their ability to create vivid descriptions of characters and settings. A recording of the talk is available at the WARC’s YouTube channel.
The group’s founding comes amidst a renewed focus on writing at the university pushed by new Dean of College Writing Nicholas Walmsley. In the spring, the club hopes to expand its offerings to include writing workshops, talks by local publishing houses, and visits to literary sites such as the Chingiz Aitmatov House.
Participants in group activities--which are held twice a month on Wednesdays in Room 350--have run the gamut from NGA students to AUCA staff members. Anybody interested in getting involved with the Creative Writing Club should email Gulnur Esenalieva (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Erica Eisen (email@example.com) for more information.