Writers Union: A Club for Those Who Love Writing, Reading

Lauren Van Gheem, Staff Writer, Journalism I

With about 35 members annually Writers Union is a social and academic club at Notre Dame. Writers Union members share their writings, make suggestions for improvement, offer encouragement and, of course, eat brownies.

“I like to see other people’s work,” said senior Payton VanPelt who has been involved with Writers Union since her sophomore year.

The club is for people who are interested in writing.  “Having your work criticized is essential to your writing,” said VanPelt.

English teachers Carolyn Brown and Jean Thillman are the advisers of the club. Brown said, “Miranda Paul visits our meeting once in awhile.” Paul is a published writer in Green Bay and previously taught at Notre Dame.

Writings are submitted anonymously. After they are read and reviewed, the people who wrote them reveal themselves to the group–if they so wish!.

“I enjoy the camaraderie and friendships that have developed between the upper and lower classmen,” said Thillman. “Writers Union helps with writing and reading.  The more you read and write the better you will become.”

There is no worry whether you’re going to fail or pass because no grade is involved. Students look forward to voicing their opinions at meetings.

“It is hard to find time to meet,” said Brown, “because there are so many activities to get involved with here at Notre Dame.”  

Writers Union meets twice a month, on every other Wednesday. “There are some people at some meetings and different people at other meetings,” said Brown.

Listening and seeing other writers’ work is beneficial to everyone at the meeting.

Every spring, the club compiles The Muse, the literary magazine named after the Greek god of inspiration. Publication in The Muse is open to the whole school and the magazine features artwork, photography, short stories and poems.

The club has existed for at least the 21 years Brown has been here. College Credit English teacher Steven Stary advised the group before Brown and Thillman took the helm.

The main focus of Writers Union is to share one’s writings  with others and get feedback in a supportive, friendly and caring environment.