Creative Writing Club Attends UW-Whitewater Creative Writing Festival

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On Wednesday, November 14th, five students from the creative writing club at Arrowhead went on a field trip to UW-Whitewater for their annual creative writing festival. Accompanying the students were Elizabeth Jorgensen, a creative writing and journalism teacher at Arrowhead, and English teacher Terri Carnell.

Jorgensen says, “This was the first time I had the opportunity to take students to the UW-Whitewater creative writing festival.”

Arrowhead seniors Rachel Kriehn, Sarah Lunow, and Molly Salzer and junior Jacqueline Milgram attended the event.

Brunnbauer, Kriehn, Milgram, and Salzer submitted and presented their work at the conference. Lunow opted out of submitting a piece for a session.

Kriehn said, “I thought it was a really great experience for everyone, even Sarah who didn’t submit something still got something out of it.”

“Each student was able to receive valuable feedback from professional writers. Students also had the opportunity to learn from their peers,” Jorgensen says.

The event began at 8:00 am with student check-in. There were six sessions, every 50 minutes. Each session was attended by “approximately 30 kids,” says Jorgensen.

The sessions were facilitated by published authors, editors, or people who work in the field of creative writing. Facilitators included F.J Bergmann, an editor of poetry for The Journal of Social Change; Bob Curry, who writes plays, screenplays, fiction, and teaches writing for UW-Extension and Madison Area Technical College; and Bruce Dethlefsen, who has published three full-length books of poetry.

According to Jorgensen, during the sessions, students’ work would be read and critiqued. Students were able to give feedback to other students to improve their pieces. The facilitators would also critique the pieces.

“Although Sarah didn’t submit a piece for workshopping, she said she really enjoyed her time at the open mics,” Jorgensen said. “In each session, I picked up a new trick or tip for writing. I am eager to share what I learned with my creative writing classes.”

There was an open mic available to all students attending the workshop. Kriehn said “people went into a big conference room and you sign up if you want to do an open mic. You read your work in front of a bunch of people. It was cool because it was a huge group of likeminded people supporting each other. I had never seen that many people in one place who were so much like me.”

Arrowhead’s writing club offers students the opportunity “to pursue writing in a safe, comfortable and encouraging environment,” according to the Arrowhead Writing Club’s website.

As an advisor of the club, Jorgensen says, “As part of the writing club, we offered to take students to UW-Whitewater for the Creative Writing Festival.”

Jorgensen and Carnell co-advise The Arrowhead Writing Club. Writing club provides a spot for students who are interested in writing as a hobby or career. A typical meeting starts with a guided prompt, followed by students sharing their pieces and discussing. Students then form smaller groups and provide feedback.

According to the Writing Club website, “All Arrowhead students are welcome. Students can come to any/all meetings.” Meetings are held in room 199 at Arrowhead North campus on “the 4th Tuesday of every month from 2:45 to 4:30.”

Kriehn says the Writing Club hosts “new fun activities every meeting to keep people interested.”

“Arrowhead’s writing club works to help make students the best writers they can be and to give them as much experience in the field as possible,” says Kriehn.

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Creative Writing Club Attends UW-Whitewater Creative Writing Festival