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What tips are out there for a new creative writing club?

This upcoming school year, I'll be a senior. I'm trying to build up a creative writing club so I can teach other students and share the same passion. What tips would others like to share of having a good creative writing club? writing creative-writing new

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G. Mark’s Answer

The first thing you want to encourage is for EVERYONE to support each other. Because creative writing is baring your soul to others. Make sense? It's not about perfect grammar or fantastic organization or maintaining a "proper style". It's about sharing what you want to communicate, and sometimes that will be very personal and very embarrassing. Anyone that violates this rule should be informed strongly. THEN you work on style and grammar and all that stuff. The idea is to have something worth sharing. And sometimes that stuff isn't ready for "prime time", as it were. Make the members feel as though they can just "chat" via their work. If I read something that's been run through the "marketable writing" mill, I don't want to bother. I can predict the ending and don't need to waste the time. There are lots of places to learn structure and the mechanics. Heck, there are programs today that can actually generate stories and screenplays. But who cares if it doesn't tell you something new about a person or situation or the world? So that's what I'd recommend. In Market Speak, that would be a "game changer" or "product differentiator".

I'll definitely use your advice! This was so helpful. Thank you so much! Emily G.

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Linda’s Answer

Just a thought, but many teachers get such all the time . . . What about a creative writing club to write stories for scavenger hunts? When I was in library school, scavenger hunts were staples for teaching library use and that's what research is, especially online, right? Members could write about there favorite theme, subject, or topic with objects, places, or people to find to continue the story.

For example, I could use one of my favorite classic novels for a kind of book review. In Romeo and Juliet and Pride and Prejudice, the couples meet at a ball. If there was a school dance, I could start my clues or directions with some lines from a story and direct the readers to "Meet your partner at this same kind of event tonight at school. Wear this red paper flower (which is included for cutting out) and bring the next envelope (with half a clue)." When the readers arrive at the dance, they can meet, open the next envelopes, match them, and team up if they want a partner. I imagine my next clue would lead the readers to some thing or person related to the couple's first challenge. The members could help each other write the clues in some way and do the hunts themselves or find others who want to do it. 

Linda recommends the following next steps:

Write your own literary scavenger hunt.
Recruit or advertise for "players," especially writers.
Send them on the hunt and ask for feedback, starting with what they liked.
Ask what could be improved, especially in the writing. Then ask if anyone would like to write a hunt or play one again so you have writing peers and future players.
The feedback will lead you to your next step.
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Brad’s Answer

Don't hide your passion for writing. It can be infectious and will keep people engaged in your group. Perhaps choose a particular genre that you're interested in. The focus may bring other like-minded to the group. If you're going to critique each other's work, make sure that you set firm rules. For example, avoid simplistic opinions like, "I didn't like it" or "I don't agree with you". Encourage everyone to find something positive about the work, and focus on ways to help the author improve the work. Keep the atmosphere positive and limit the time spent on each work so everyone gets a chance and encourage everyone to bring questions they would like to have answered.