Yuma, AZ (June 5, 2017) –Brittany Twenter, Arizona Western College student, started the Desert Southwest Nonfiction Creative Writing Society with the sole purpose of bringing the community together to share their life stories in a creative fashion. So far, the community group is comprised of students and faculty at AWC, but the hope is that they can pull in people from all walks of life who are interested in writing. The group will meet every other Saturday starting the first weekend of June.
The idea of this community group for writers first came about after Brittany was part of AWC's very first Nonfiction Creative Writing class last fall that was taught by Professor Thweatt. After the class ended, the students wanted to stay connected and so they started a group chat on Facebook where they could send each other articles and essays on nonfiction creative writing.
“One day our professor, Anne-Marie Thweatt, mentioned that she wished she could teach an advanced course so that we could all continue writing together. We collectively agreed, and we decided that someone needed to coordinate an actual group that we could all join, and that we could pull other members of the community into as well,” said Brittany. “I feel that it's important for everyone to realize that we each have a voice that is meant to be heard, and nonfiction creative writing is an excellent way to communicate.”
"Initially, the group discussed becoming a club through AWC, when I reminded them that many of them aren't AWC students anymore, or won't be for long,” said Anne-Marie Thweatt, AWC Professor of English. “Given the strong community we had built in the classroom, and the real desire of these students to keep writing literary nonfiction, we saw a unique possibility to reach out to the Yuma community, especially veterans. We all had experienced the sense of peace or catharsis that comes from writing about something you didn't expect to write about, the endless paths that the essay can take. Sharing that with our community seemed like the best way to really connect the college, students, professors, and community members together in a meaningful way. Also, I wanted, from the beginning, for this project to be student led, and so far they've done a brilliant job. I could not be prouder of them."
Brittany is studying English and Secondary Education at AWC. She started the spring of 2016, and will be taking her final few classes this fall as she transfers to ASU. Her long-term goal is to teach high school English while earning my PhD in Nonfiction Creative Writing. She would like to eventually become a college professor.
“I sincerely hope that even if you think that you're not a great writer, or that writing isn't fun or interesting, you explore the idea of getting your stories down on paper. When you're part of a group of like-minded individuals, you teach one another new techniques and literary devices to employ, and your voice will shine through. Everyone has a story worthy of being told and of being heard,” said Brittany.
Anyone who is interested in joining the group can find the Facebook page or they can email Brittany.Twenter@azwestern.edu for more information.
Professor of English
Arizona Western College