A Club for Writers

by Briauhnna A. Phelps

Summer break is usually a sleepy season for on-campus clubs at APU. This summer, however, Authors Anonymous is breaking the mold and turning four months of silence into an opportunity to work harder than ever.

Authors Anonymous is currently the only creative writing group affiliated with APU’s Office of Communiversity, which assists and supports undergraduate clubs and organizations. It began two years ago as the brainchild of English major David Bright ’10. His goal in forming Authors Anonymous was to create a group where aspiring writers could come together to encourage, critique, and fellowship. He was inspired by The Inklings, a writing group that boasted such members as C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkein.

This summer, Authors Anonymous is hosting monthly write-ins, where members will spend the day closeted together, writing almost nonstop. They will participate in speed writing contests, writing prompts and activities, and, most importantly, critiquing each other’s work.

Alex Nikmanesh ’11 is looking forward to the write-ins. “They sound like a good writing method because it forces you to write something, and something is better than nothing,” he says. Many share Nikmanesh’s opinion, including the operators of the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), a free event open to the public that takes place every November. Each NaNoWriMo participant’s goal is to write a 50,000-word novel in one month, and most agree that the hardest part is the simple act of sitting down and getting to work.

Authors Anonymous members participated in NaNoWriMo 2009, and the write-in technique worked well for the club. Authors Anonymous even hosted a write-in event for last year’s NaNoWriMo. Several authors were able to meet their goal during the write-in. Others attribute a large chunk of their final word count to the event.
Authors Anonymous has cultivated a tight-knit group of writers. Members range from freshman to recent graduates, each bringing a unique viewpoint and skill set. “We have creative non-fiction writers, masters of song, and writers of historical fiction, general fiction, fantasy/sci-fi, poetry, and everything in-between,” says newly-appointed vice president Erica Landes ’13. “And Authors Anonymous is not just for English majors; it’s for people with a drive to write.”

For more information on NaNoWriMo, visit www.nanowrimo.org.