Maverick Writers make space for students to share stories

The Maverick Writers, Minnesota State University, Mankato’s newly revived creative writing club, opens a door for creative freedom for any students who wish to cultivate their writing.

Club President Elizabeth Thoelke has worked hard over the last few years to get the club back on its feet. At the end of fall semester 2019, she was approached by Creative Writing Professor Robin Becker about becoming the president of the club and reviving it from where it was. 

“The previous president had graduated and there wasn’t anyone to take over, and I was apparently the most enthusiastic,” said Thoelke. “I said yes because I love creative writing and I wanted to create a space for students who love writing, whether creative or journalistic, to be able to write.”

In spring of 2020, they relaunched under a new name: Maverick Writers. However, due to the pandemic, the meetings were cut short. 

“We had maybe 3 meetings before the pandemic happened and no meetings through the last school year,” said Thoelke. “In spring 2021, I met up with the Faculty Advisor Chris McCormick, and we had our first meeting back in late fall 2021.”

Thoelke’s goal for the revision of the club was to create a comfortable space where members could be creative without pressure. 

“At every writing club meeting, we have some time for freewriting- no homework, no stressing about writing, just creativity. It has been a great experience to have that space,” shared Thoelke.

The meetings follow a routine structure, starting with prompts and allowing students plenty of time to work on their own projects. 

“In a standard meeting we start with a writing prompt- sometimes it’s a picture, sometimes it’s a starting line, just something to inspire writing,” said Thoelke. “We then have a writing discussion where we talk about different aspects of writing that members are interested in. We plan for the next meeting, and then the rest of the time we spend free writing.”

The group also holds workshop meetings, where they either workshop their own writing or discuss the writing of others. The club has been helpful in allowing students to expand their writing skills and to communicate with others who share that passion. 

“The club has really helped me increase my ability to write. I think it’s a good experience to be a part of a writing club if you want to have a career in writing,” said member Josh Drackley. “I think the connections that I make with people throughout the English Department are my favorite part of being involved.”

Maverick Writers isn’t just for creative writing students. The club welcomes everyone who has any interest in writing. 

“I’d love to see more people outside of the creative writing department to bring in that experience,” shared Thoelke. “Coming to a club like this can be nerve-wracking, but we have such a great and growing community and everyone is so supportive- there is plenty of room for new people.”

“We don’t have a lot of members right now, so I encourage anyone who wants to join to do so,” said Drackley.

Maverick Writers meetings are from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. on Thursdays in CSU 202. Students are invited to check them out on Presence for more information.

Header Photo: Maverick Writers is the creative writing club on campus that aims to help students expand their writing skills and to communicate with other students who share similar passions (Dylan Long/The Reporter)

Write to: Syd Berggren at sydney.berggren@mnsu.edu

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