Mount St. Joseph University

Written Invitation to the Mount’s New Club

Dateline: student newspaper

By: Sasha Feldmann

File Under: creative writing club, dateline, student club

This semester, the Mount is introducing a club for the many fiction writing fanatics we have here. If you have a passion for the written word, or if you simply want to learn and grow as a writer in a supportive atmosphere, I urge you to join the recently established Creative Writing Club. It is an unprecedented opportunity, and all are welcome.

The provisional staff advisor is Associate Professor of English Jeff Hillard, though Karl Zuelke, Director of the Writing Center and of the Math and Science Center will soon be stepping in. The club will be led, however, by its president, sophomore Katie Schmelz. She is quite interestingly a nursing major, with a minor in Creative Writing. When she graduates, she hopes to be a traveling nurse, lending her talents to hospitals across the country. Still, she intends to continue writing in her free time. I asked how long she had been interested in writing. “From the time I was able to actually write sentences,” she told me, “I was writing.”

This is her first writing club, and she was inspired to cultivate it by different beneficial workshops and classes that helped change and shape her writing today. She wanted a haven, somewhere uninterrupted and away from stress to simply write. That is something to which I know many of us can relate. She spoke with Elizabeth Bookser Barkley, English Professor and Chair of the Liberal Arts Department, as well as Assistant Dean Warren Grove to ensure the idea of the potential club was sound and plausible enough to come into being. Following the SGA steps to form a club, and taking it upon herself to complete the necessary paperwork over the summer, things were able to come to a quick start this year.

Meetings will take place twice a month on the first and third Wednesdays from 5 to 6 pm in the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence, which is located on the bottom floor of the library building. The first meetings will be free writes, where participants will be able to come and work with the prompts provided as well as receive feedback from other writers. The second meetings will be workshops given by various professional authors in and around Cincinnati, each centered around a specific theme. The first meeting was Sept. 6, but it is far from too late to join. This semester’s themes will be character development (current), short story (October), and poetry (November).

This is a wonderful opportunity to hone your craft in a constructive as well as enjoyable manner. If you are interested in playing a more involved role, contact Schmelz ( and she will help you find a place that is right for you. She more than well understands the importance, and the power of writing.

“I love to write because, for me, it is my escape.  When I am having a bad day, or if I feel overwhelmed, the first thing that I turn to is either my writing notebook or one of my books.  Being able to create a world and emotion simply with just random letters strung together has always been magical for me,” Schmelz says. I couldn’t agree more. If you feel the same, or if, perhaps, you’d like to, you ought to join. Everyone is welcome, regardless of major or level of experience, and this is an invitation.