Photo of Writers’ Club by Cassie LeBel
By Victoria Chiaramonte
To some students, writing may feel like just another homework assignment, but for the individuals who find passion in writing outside of the academic world, the Cape Cod Community College (4Cs) Writers’ Club is the place to be. Meeting every Wednesday at 2:30 PM in the MainSheet office, located in the basement of the Wilkens library, the Writers’ Club aims to inspire opportunities for poetry, fiction and nonfiction lovers alike through community discussion.
“Being that I had never shared my writing with others before I feared I’d be judged,” said club member Mari Bennett after attending her second meeting. “But as a beginner creative writer, I was welcomed with open and nonjudgmental arms. Our club has a clear vision to bring together writers of all levels, from all genres to motivate each other on our creative journeys and to expose each other to new ideas.”
Joe Thorpe, one of the student founders of this new club, harbored a devotion to writing that sent him on a mission to create a club where other students, like himself, could find a safe space to express themselves through this increasingly overlooked art-form.
“I suppose a real love affair with writing came from reading,” said Thorpe. “Writing for me has always been a means of trying to deliver my thoughts, feelings and passions to other humans. It allows people to access them without accessing me.”
A lot of work goes into starting a club at 4Cs, especially for a full-time student who may also have a job on the side. When 4Cs Professor Rebecca Griffin was approached by Thorpe about advising a productive club dedicated to the world of creative writing, the first task was finding someone just as eager to establish a solid foundation.
The idea was brought to Griffin in the Fall 2018 semester and by Spring of 2019 she had introduced Thorpe to Cassie LeBel, Editor of the MainSheet. From there the club was officially set into motion.
“My favorite aspect of the Creative Writers’ Club is that it gives students who love to create fiction, poetry and nonfiction a place to find each other,” said Griffin, who serves as the faculty advisor to the Writers’ Club. “This group is very friendly and welcoming. I am so appreciative of Cassie and Joe for picking up the reigns and getting this club off the ground.”
On September 25, less than a year from the original birth of this idea, the first Writers’ Club meeting was held with 13 ambitious wordsmiths in attendance.
“We open up with a writing exercise and discuss the elements of the genres of writing and share them with each other,” said Thorpe. “The main goal is to meet with other students who are enthusiastic and to give more opportunities to write and share their work to develop their writing skills.”
LeBel stated that they hope that ongoing club discussions as well as seeing the creative work of peers will encourage members who enjoy the act of writing to do so outside of class assignments. She believes that those who regularly practice writing will gain experiences that go beyond technical skills.
“I love that writing helps me in putting my thoughts together,” said LeBel. “It gives me a voice in society, helping me to understand myself more as well as how the world works.”
Writers’ Club member Natasha Aiken stated that, “Writing is more than one’s eye can imagine.”
One of the club’s main goals is to promote not just writing, but reading as well. The leaders of the club are developing a community service project similar to the Little Free Library organization, which would entail placing boxes across the campus that offer free books to passersby.
Weekly attendance is not mandatory as writing is a free form of passionate expression. Students are encouraged to come when they can to learn about what it means to be inspired and inspire others through your own creative thoughts. Writing beside peers is a great tool, helping students to not only strengthen their creative knowledge, but also to gain a sense of community and motivation to utilize writing in all aspects of life both on and off the page.
Illustration by Harley Turso