12 Days of Freshers

Spotlight on the Creative Writing Society

Alex Tyndall

On the second day of freshers, Alex shines the spotlight on the Creative Writing Society… 

Whether you enjoy writing professionally, as a hobby, or as a way to help clear your mind, the Creative Writing Society at the University of Nottingham is the place for you.  Come and flex your writing muscles, meet new people, and get involved in our award-winning showcases, no matter what your course is.

We run a variety of weekly events, the most notable of which is our ‘Lit Circle’. Here, a new theme is presented every week (Wednesday, 7-9 PM), whether this be a genre, such as horror or fantasy, or a more abstract idea, such as worldbuilding or dialogue. Members then have various time limits in which to create a piece of work relating to the many prompts provided throughout the evening. From two-minute speed-writing prompts, to longer twenty minute prompts, what you create is up to you! At the end of each prompt, you have the option to share your work, or just sit back and listen to what others have written.

Other events include Coffeeshop Critiques, which has currently moved online, where members gather with work that they have written for it to be peer-reviewed by their fellow attendees. This event used to take place within the on-campus coffee shop in the Portland building, where it hopefully will resume once it is deemed safe. Finally, we have the new addition of workshops – don’t worry, you won’t have to do any homework for them. The aim of these workshops is to help expand on knowledge of a given topic, such as how to improve on character building and creation.

The Creative Writing Society also boasts a varied range of social activities, including our one-of-a-kind, bi-annual Murder Mystery event, as well as more traditional socials like laser tag and bowling. We also invite guest speakers from the local area to come and talk to members about their experiences as authors, screenwriters, or poets. Furthermore, we participate in many collaborations with other societies at the university, such as, to name a few, kettle soc, architecture soc, or cake soc.

As writers, we know that it is important to get your name out into the world, which is why we have our very own magazine, Firelight, which showcases the society’s talents. Moreover, this magazine is distributed not only around the university, but also around many bookshops in Nottingham, including high-traffic areas such as Waterstones, where patrons have frequently been seen browsing through our collections. Branching away from traditional sources, we also have a podcast and a blog, allowing for a wide online presence as well.

The fantastic thing about the Creative Writing Society is that we are an immensely versatile and adaptable group; whilst coronavirus restrictions have been devastating for many, more physical groups, it is possible to write anywhere at any time. Since March, we have hosted one of our Murder Mysteries online to great success, and continue to conduct Coffeeshop Critiques every fortnight (albeit with one’s own mug of tea rather than a store-bought coffee) over Microsoft Teams. We hope that this will continue as term begins again, allowing us to reach a wider audience and help expand our membership to those who might not have been able to attend in-person sessions anyway, regardless of rules following a global pandemic.

Our society has a wonderful sense of community, and we take great pride in what we do. Back in April 2020, we helped raise £340 for Hospital Heroes in Nottingham with our Creative Writing Showcase, demonstrating not only the talents of our own society, but also those of musical societies. In July, we were awarded with the Showcase Event Award at the Societies Ball, and our society achieved Gold Star Status within the Students Union – an absolutely immense honour, and something we wish to carry on throughout the 2020/2021 academic year.

Writing is a wonderful way to express yourself, whether that be through personal vents put to words, or the construction of intricate, beautiful universes to become utterly immersed in

Everyone within the society is incredibly friendly – within no time at all, it feels as though you have known the people around you all your life. There is something very special about the ability to be vulnerable and open with one’s work, and yet be encouraged and supported by people in exactly the same position. Writing is a wonderful way to express yourself, whether that be through personal vents put to words, or the construction of intricate, beautiful universes to become utterly immersed in.

Whether you are a fresh face to the University of Nottingham, or a returning student, the Creative Writing Society is a brilliant place to meet new people and connect over a shared love of creation. To emphasise, anyone from any course can join – yes, we even have members from the school of maths!

If your interest has been piqued, then we look forward to seeing you at the our ‘Try-it’ session very soon!

Alex Tyndall

To find out more about the Creative Writing Society please visit their Facebook page. Featured image courtesy of UoN Creative Writing via facebook.com. Article images courtesy of @uoncreativewriting via instagram.com.

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