The Creative Writing Club is a free after-school program for area high school students interested in creative writing taught by graduate students in the University of Alabama’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program. The CWC was founded in 2004 by poet and English professor Robin Behn, who acts as director of the program. Since then, the CWC has given talented young writers the opportunity to work closely with published poets and prose writers from one of the premiere M.F.A programs in the country.
Who is Eligible to Attend?
The Creative Writing Club is open to all high school and homeschool students (grades 9-12) in the Tuscaloosa area who want to try creative writing.
The teachers in the CWC are poets, fiction and non-fiction writers who are graduate students in the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Program at the University of Alabama.
What We Do
Students in the CWC choose from a variety of units offered during each semester. Within these smaller groups, the students work closely with several teachers in an area of their interest. Units change within the course of the semester, allowing students to work with different teachers, topics, and peers.
Our sessions begin with readings by the CWC teachers, UA writing professors, and local writers.
Units taught in the past include:
Popular Genres: We will learn the ins and outs of genres such as horror, sci-fi, fantasy, detective fiction, and others, as well as learn techniques of how to create and describe characters and environments for our stories.
Surrealist Games: The Surrealists were a group of experimental writers who played creative games to generate ideas for stories and poems. We will discover firsthand how these strange games allow writers to break through the conventional and respectable to find what lies in the subconscious.
Beyond the Self in Poetry: How does the outside world influence our inner thoughts? We will use our senses to think about and expand the effects that our environments have on our poetry.
The Writer’s Notebook: Do you keep a journal? A livejournal? Learn about how writers use notebooks and journaling as a tool for developing their writing. We’ll make our own journals and do a bunch of cool stuff with them.
Playwriting and Performance: We will learn about aspects of playwriting such as character, dialogue, and setting as well as write a variety of scenes and perform some of our work for the CWC.
At the end of the semester a reading is held in which students read their new writing. Students also submit a sampling of their work to be included in the annual CWC anthology of student writing. This anthology is distributed to all students in the CWC.
Where and When
The Creative Writing Club meets in the Spring semester—from the end of January through the end of April. Club meetings are held Wednesday afternoons from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. in room 301 in Morgan Hall on the University of Alabama campus. Look to the right to see a picture of Morgan Hall, the English Department building on the UA campus where we meet.
How to Sign Up
Registration begins in November for the following Spring, and in April for the summer Creative Writing Camp.
CWC inspires student writers throughout the Tuscaloosa area and beyond thanks to the generous support of the Center for Community-Based Partnerships, the University of Alabama College of Arts and Sciences, the University of Alabama Department of English, and the MFA Program in Creative Writing.