Wesley Baucom, Staff Writer

The University of Missouri–St. Louis’ Writer’s group met this past Tuesday, Sept. 17, for their first meeting of the Fall 2019 semester, and it’s open for anyone looking to ignite and excite their passion for writing. Don’t just take it from me, however. Aurora Blanchard, freshman, had this to say, “I’m really excited to be here, and I really want to take advantage of all UMSL has to offer in terms of writing because it gives me opportunities where before there was none.” In the end, Blanchard learned a lot, and the fun of the group will have her coming back. From short stories to poems to whatever you have to scribble down, the Writer’s Group is a great place for anyone wanting to jumpstart their passion for writing. 

Openness is important here with the intention of everyone’s inclusion—with no judgements or prior standards. The meeting was held in Room 316 of the Millenium Student Center, and the set-up for the workshop was very organized. As people began to filter in the doors and take their seats in rolling chairs stationed at three circular tables, small talk amongst introverted writers was very topical, with the focus, of course, being writing and creativity. When things officially began, we at the group were given news regarding various opportunities for UMSL writers. There were events needing writers from across departments, open-mic poetry readings and even connections to publications, all of this for promoting the artists’ own work. 

Following the immediate connections, that’s when the real work started with a fun game. Writing prompts jotted down on slips of paper were passed around inside a small glass bowl, and each of the members wrote on their respective prompts for around 45 minutes. You could really feel the creativity in the room as everyone excitedly put their imagination into words. After time was up there was an open floor, in which even more positive energy flowed freely, carrying itself over the intrepid workshop process. Again, openness was key and members were gently pushed to present whatever work they liked. Considering that every artist is bound to be their own harshest critic, what made the group so wonderful was that everyone was treated as an equal, with no harsh judgements to be found. Once presentations were finished and ideas were applauded and added upon, the meeting was then adjourned. You could still feel the positivity well after the meeting with many members leaving with new friends or carrying on conversations well after the group’s end. 

            “If you consider yourself a writer, or just like to write, I think the Writer’s Group is a good place for you,” said Taylor Meyer, president of the UMSL Writer’s Group, “Workshopping and working with others is an important part of the process.” Taylor herself is an aspiring writer, and takes great joy in helping anyone walking along the same path as her. “Everyone is welcome,” she said, clearly holding everyone in equal importance. 

From my own experience in the group, I can tell you that it was simply an overwhelmingly positive experience and I highly recommend it to anyone with an equal passion. After all of this, I had only one question left for Taylor.. when’s the next meeting? 

“The next meeting is sometime in November, there’s not a set date yet.” 

So for those wanting to catch the next meeting, keep your eyes, ears and mind open—and if you plan on coming to the next meeting, I can’t wait to see you there.