Normally, the University of Michigan-Flint's Marian E. Wright Writing Center acts as a haven for students, faculty and staff when it comes to formatting, writing and revising a paper or speech. But recently, the center's staff found themselves encouraging writers – both on campus and off – to pick up their pens or power up their laptops in order to participate in some newly scheduled events. First on the agenda was a May 6 retreat, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., that offered members of a creative writing group, The Writer's Circle, as well as members of the campus community, the opportunity to spend the day networking and writing amongst a community of like-minded creatives. The Writers Circle, which is open to all UM-Flint faculty, staff, students and community members, was formed in 2019 following a six-week workshop that focused on teaching budding writers how to write a short story. UM-Flint Marian E. Wright Writing Center staff “We got such a tremendous turnout that it naturally transitioned into a weekly writer's group,” said Vicky Dawson, Writing Center coordinator. Members of the group have been working on a wide range of projects that vary from memoirs to flash fiction, poetry and even personal essays. Dawson said that since the Writing Center has a long-standing tradition of helping develop academic, professional and creative writing pieces, she and other staff members strive to create a welcoming space where the UM-Flint community can get support with their writing. Hosting the retreat is an extension of those efforts. The retreat featured a writing panel consisting of three authors who shared their experiences with participants in order to guide them through the publishing process. Participating panelists included Melodie Bolt, a 2012 UM-Flint graduate with a master's degree in English composition and rhetoric who specializes in writing dark fantasy and poetry; Kaye Sims, a Flint resident and self-published author; and Connor Coyne, editor at Gothic Funk Press. “Members were really interested in learning more about publishing and the opportunity meet with authors who have had successful experiences,” said Dawson. Writer's Circle members and Writing Center staff collaborating […]
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