Creative Writing Night, an event run by Graduate Assistant Karri Moser on behalf of Student Engagement and Leadership (SEAL), saw five USM students brush up on their creative writing skills as they tackled numerous different writing styles and prompts inspired by carefully selected photos.
Moser, a former news reporter and the author of five published novels, mentioned how such events are geared towards providing a creative outlet and venue to showcase student work, and are simply a way to remind people that writing is a creative expression that is good for the brain. She believes that everyone should commit time to self expression.
With music playing softly, each of the students were deep in thought as the gears in their heads shifted to produce some exceptional material, and some winning pieces.
At the beginning of the event, it was evident that these students were having trouble getting started, with displays of confusion and pencil tapping. The three-person group projected five different photos onto a screen in order to allow ample time to prepare for the final photo of that set of prompts.
The photo in question was of a dozen female adults wearing dress attire, accompanied by party hats and gathered around a white-clothed table. Senior Doug Banks won the first prize of the night, a notebook and sticky notes, with the following passage:
“Found upon a pedestal, try to stay still, for even when you’re on the ground, no one will be around.”
Following up with Banks after the event, he explained how writing plays a huge role in explaining his thoughts and feelings, and is in a sense a form of cheap therapy. “It costs less to buy a notebook than it does to sign up for therapy,” he said.
For those seeking a creative outlet, Doug casually suggested that you can “try anything that comes to mind, and don’t worry about feeling embarrassed or asking yourself if it is good or not. Because what is important is finding the part of you that makes you happy, when you express what is going on inside of you.”
The second set of prompts were poetry prompts. The final one asked each person to write a poem containing the phrase “Winter is on my tongue,” and the students did not disappoint. Junior Audrey Hall produced the following passage and won a notebook and a pen:
“The air is frozen
My fingers like little icicles that will never thaw
The black sky looms above
Through the twinkle of stars,
little puffs of joy fall to the ground
slowly quitting a cold blanket one stitch at a time.
I turn my head up to the sky
like a child for the first time
Winter is on my tongue
And nothing is on my mind.”
The final prompt with the opportunity to win a prize was a photo of Ernest Hemingway’s six word sentence “For Sale: Baby shoes. Never Worn.” Senior Kip Foster wrote the following passage:
“Sometimes innocent lies are guilty truths.”
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