Readers and Writers – Club Feature
By: Lilia Pearson Maas
Readers and Writers Club started this year as a safe, supportive environment for people to share and grow as readers and writers. Unlike traditional book clubs, members keep track of their individual reading, not as a group. This offers space for growth in book count, genres, and personal reading. RWC also provides writing time, rant time, book-related crafts, and general reading time.
The group is starting the second semester with character design, book poetry, and service hours! Last semester, they completed a group reading goal of 65 books (5 per person) and are trying to increase that to 10 books per person this semester! Club President Vix Purdy says reading goals “are meant to give motivation and inspiration to both old and newer readers. They’re set for each reader to have a reasonable goal within a chosen amount of time. Group participation in this goal is meant to help motivate others to join in and read as well.” Club members get to discuss and choose group goals to better adjust them to preferences. This helps set RWC apart from a traditional book club because while the collaboration on goals is similar, people are working individually and finding ways to challenge themselves that might contrast with others in the group. If everyone was reading the same book, there would be less room for growth for people who need a challenge, and increased pressure on the people who are slower readers
For character design, they started with an overview of how to build a character, including motivations, background, and more. They then moved to Plan vs Story Goal vs Emotional Need (what the character is doing, what they tell the reader about why they’re doing it, and what they need). Vice President Lilia Pearson Maas says “we’ve been creating characters based on the same prompt and in the same setting, and we’ve had some pretty wild characters so far! I’m super excited to see how they develop, especially if we use them in future projects!” RWC hopes to do similar lessons in the future with other aspects of writing, like setting, plot, and diction.
Another feature of RWC is the writing activities at the beginning of every club. These can vary from analyzing song lyrics to writing prompts about magical puddles to questions like “What’s something that brought you joy today?”. The prompts are meant to be fun and make people think since, at first, the guidelines of the prompts are unknown. These prompts, especially since shared out loud, are judgment and expectation free. A piece of writing isn’t going to be perfect on the first try. It’s the attempt that matters!
Overall, the Readers and Writers Club is a wonderful place for people hoping to explore literature with their peers. “The club has helped me immensely with my confidence in sharing my writing”. RWC is “a really fun and chill environment where you can totally be yourself and come to read and write. It’s also a great place to gain comfort in sharing your writing with others”.