The mission of the Polk State College Creative Writing Club (CWC) is to provide students and employees of the college with a non-judgmental writer’s workshop environment where they receive support and constructive critique from fellow writers. In addition, the club serves as a supplement to English and literature classes, helping improve students’ writing skills and raising the literary awareness of the college.
The CWC meets every Thursday from 3 to 4 p.m. on Lakeland campus in LAC 1259, starting the first week of classes and ending the week prior to exams.
The CWC has different presentations each week. Some speakers present on the nuts and bolts of writing, ultimately leading the club members and guests in a mini-writing session. Others are successful authors who share tips on publishing and their enthusiasm for writing. The CWC has enjoyed guest presentations by Fred Koehler, children’s book author, Donna Kelly, local reporter turned novelist, and Vincent Scarsella, former lawyer and Polk State adjunct professor turned best-selling crime novelist.
Students and writers explore a broad gamut of writing-related topics potentially useful to writers; for example, we’ve had speakers presenting on: writing about racial equality, using Jung’s archetypes, Tarot cards as inspiration, Laughter Yoga as pre-writing, and works of art as prompts (“ekphrastic” poetry).
Writing Contests and Events
The fall and spring CWC writing contests are open to Polk State College students on all campuses. The categories are fiction and poetry. Participants are celebrated at an event which includes a reading of the written works and the award of cash prizes to the first and second place winners in each category. The club uses outside judges for these contests – usually a local published writer.
By submitting a poem or piece of fiction to the contest, a Polk State College student is automatically eligible to be included in the CWC’s anthology of student work. The CWC publishes as many student works as possible each year. The CWC has now published two collections of student works, Anthology 2016 and Anthology 2017.
Annual Food Drive
Every year since its inception, at holiday time the Creative Writing Club has teamed up with Polk State College fraternity Phi Theta Kappa to carry out a food drive to benefit the Polk State College Food Banks. The club puts large decorated boxes in strategic locations and club volunteers sort the food and get a glow knowing they’ve helped a good cause.
Anyone who is a current student or current employee of the college is eligible to be a member of the Polk State College Creative Writing Club; however, only student members may vote. A lifetime membership costs $5. A student does not need to be a member to attend a CWC meeting or event, or enter a CWC contest.
The Creative Writing Club has one president, one secretary, and up to two vice presidents. Continuing from a successful spring, our president is student Gabrielle DeRouen. The CWC will elect new officers this year.