4 Reasons You Should Bring Your Creative Writing to the Writing Center!
Bonjour! I’m Catherine Philips. I’m a Writing Center consultant, the class of 2022, majoring in Creative Writing and minoring in French and History. I’m also available to consult with you on papers written in French! Viens me voir!
Whether you’re in your first-ever Creative Writing class, a senior putting together a portfolio, or you write just for fun, the Writing Center can be an amazing resource to polish your favorite pieces. If you’ve ever debated whether or not to schedule a consultation for your piece of creative writing, here are some reasons why you definitely should.
1. Creative writing needs the same TLC as academic writing
Just like any kind of writing, a creative writer’s most important tools are things like clarity, voice, tone, and pacing–these help make writing stronger. Writing Center consultants are trained to look for all of these things and can help you polish a short story or elevate a poem. Consultants are also trained for situations in which your writing feels “stuck” (also known as writer’s block). They can help you generate ideas, help outline a piece that you just can’t get started, or help you strategize other ways to look at the piece you’re working on.
2. Consultants are here to help, not to judge
If you’re worried that your Writing Center consultant will do nothing but tell you that your writing is terrible or that they’ll spend the whole session pointing out flaws, stop worrying. A Writing Center consultant isn’t a professor. They’re not here to give out grades – they’re here to help and encourage you. A Writing Center session is always a judgment-free zone. Consultants come to work in the Writing Center because they are passionate about writing and want students to leave sessions feeling empowered to do their best work.
3. Consultants are avid readers (and sometimes writers!) of creative writing
In one of the first sessions I observed during my training, a student brought in a poem. The consultant on shift told me later that she loved when students brought in creative writing because each piece is so unique and interesting. Often, even if Writing Center consultants aren’t creative writers themselves, they love to read poetry, fiction, and non-fiction, and they love it even more when students bring those kinds of pieces to the Writing Center.
4. The Writing Center can give you a different perspective to student workshops
Creative Writing classes at Elon often focus on student workshops in which the whole class or a smaller group of students read a piece and give feedback. But workshop sessions usually focus on story structure, character, or other higher-order concerns. A session in the Writing Center can do both: focus on all these things and address lower-order concerns like sentence structure or word choice — things that a student workshop might not have time for. Plus, you can meet with a consultant before you even submit your piece. Really, it’s a win for everyone.
I became a Creative Writing major and now a Writing Center consultant because I love to write and because I love seeing the progression of a poem, story, or essay from first draft to final product. Consultants are a valuable tool to help you fight off writer’s block, generate ideas, and polish a draft. The Writing Center is always here for you, and we can’t wait to help.
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