Every year, the UCWbL takes time to celebrate a very cool event: International Writing Centers Week (IWCW). We take this time to appreciate the tutors, writers, and collaborators at writing centers around the world. This year at DePaul, we gave out t-shirts at info tables, hosted an open mic night, screened the film Louder Than A Bomb, and had a blast doing it!
Above: UCWbLer Patrick K. and UCWbL Outreach G.A. Carolyn R.teamed up to give out t-shirts in the Loop Campus
Because we had so much fun and want to get the word out, we decided to share with you the experiences (and photos!) of the fantastic UCWbLers and talented writers who participated in IWCW events. Below you’ll find the accounts of the following tutors: Alex G., Miranda S., Jen F., and Hannah L.
IWCW T-shirts & Info Tables – Feb. 10-13, 2014
UCWbL Outreach Team Members Miranda S. and Alex G. shared their experiences hosting an info table and giving out t-shirts for IWCW.
Alex G. – At DePaul’s Loop campus, myself and tutor Alex F. faced stiff competition: the SGA table offered cookies and hot chocolate; the DePaul Activities Board was handing out free cupcakes; and the UMin table exhibited a sign with the words “ASK BIG QUESTIONS” and a big bowl of snickers.
However, our bright orange shirts (see below) brought lots of traffic to the table, and we gave away our entire stock of t-shirts.
Some veteran UCWbL supporters stopped by, becoming enamored with the product after seeing tutors strutting around in them. Some new faces appeared, befriending us and utilizing our expert services. Some students didn’t even know about the t-shirt promotion and simply wanted to set up an appointment with the writing center or join our team.
Above: Alex G. with a writer who just received his snazzy dreamsicle-colored UCWbL t-shirt
Miranda S. – I had a really positive experience working the table for IWCW. I was apprehensive at first because I feel like shouting out at students as they walk by in an attempt to get them to talk to us can be intrusive, even imposing.
And yet, I was pleasantly surprised to find how easy it was to make eye contact with them, smile, and ask if they’d like a free t-shirt. On an even more pleasant note, many more times than I expected students were willing come up to us to ask about the UCWbL in general. Completing tasks to get a free t-shirt was just a perk to getting the actual thing they wanted: information about us. It felt good to inform people of our new location in SAC 212 — a change everyone fervently approves of — and how easy it is to make an appointment.
My second day of tabling, I hadn’t even finished setting up the table when a young woman surprised me by saying, “I’ll be right back — I want to talk to you in a minute.” After she had gotten herself some coffee from the Bean, she returned to get some much desired information about making an appointment with us. I loved her assertiveness and go-getter personality, and that she was so engaged and interested to learn about the writing center.
So, dear assertive go-getter student, I UCWbLoved meeting you.
Aloud! – Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014
Above: The Writers Guild met for an open mic evening of powerful fiction and nonfiction readings
Jen F. – Writers Guild is one of the UCWbL’s writing groups. We have quarterly readings (called Aloud!) where writers who attend the group read from their fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and other work. This year, we chose to have our winter quarter reading during International Writing Centers Week (IWCW) to celebrate the place that writing centers play in the creation of an amazing diversity of texts. Two new exciting things that we did this year was to have the reading in our own brand new Lincoln Park space and to format the reading as an open mic (using the whiteboard as a sign-up sheet). In the end, nine writers signed up to share their work and over the course of the evening, we had close to thirty audience members. Readers had their pictures taken with the wonderful orange “UCWbLast” t-shirts, and I would have to say that this was the most successful Writers Guild Aloud! to date.
Film Screening: “Louder Than A Bomb” – Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014
Hannah L. – To close a jubilant International Writing Centers Week with proper verse, on Thursday evening, UCWbLer Hannah L. hosted a casual “after-business hours” viewing of Louder Than a Bomb, a full-length documentary feature by Chicago filmmakers Siskel/Jacobs. Louder Than a Bomb shares the stories of four high school Chicago poets preparing for the annual self-titled citywide youth poetry slam festival. From different corners of an otherwise urban and unfeeling separate existence, poets Nate Marshall, Lamar Jorden, Nova Venerable, and Adam Gottlieb prove through verse, the power of poetry, and the unifying power of writing.
At this viewing in our new Lincoln Park SAC 212 space, the audience, though small, was big in heart and thus deeply moved by the remarkable living poets in Chicago.
As such, be on the lookout for a Louder Than an UCWbomb group event to go see this year’s Louder Than a Bomb College Slam Finals on Sunday, March 2 at Haus/Hokin Hall (Columbia College Chicago). Tickets can be purchased here.
To check out the poets and the film, visit the Louder than a Bomb homepage.
P.S. keep a lookout for spoken word poetry writing workshops with me, Hannah L.!
Since we had an UCWbLast this year during International Writing Centers Week, we hope to see you next year for more exhilarating writing center activities, and of course, your very own UCWbL t-shirt. In the meantime, stop by the writing center for an appointment or to learn more about our various programs!