Writers’ Union Meets, Eats, Writes & Muses

Nadine Druar, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

“If you want to be a writer you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot,” author Stephen King said.

The purpose of Notre Dame’s Writers’ Union is to read original poems, songs or short stories from its members and discuss them. The pieces may be submitted anonymously, and the writer may choose not to reveal him or herself after it has been discussed.

Writers’ Union was started by an English teacher at NDA named Larry Laraby in 1998. Laraby now works at Preble and has a similar group there.

“It was an outlet for the most eclectic and diverse of Notre Dame’s students,” Mr. Laraby said.

Writers’ Union got its name from the UWGB club, which bore the same title.  When it was first started, Writers’ Union met at the Brown County Library. It later moved its meetings to Notre Dame.

Mr. Laraby ran the Writers’ Union for eight years. Mr. Steven Stary, who currently teaches English and social studies at NDA, also helped to run it in its second or third year. Mr. Stary and another teacher, Mr. Chris Gray, ran it until about five or six years ago, when Mrs. Carolyn Brown and Mrs. Jean Thillman took over.

“I enjoy literature, so it’s only natural to get excited about kids who want to write and who enjoy talking about literature.  I was a writer as a young person and still joke about the book I’ll write when I retire,” said Mrs. Brown.

Writers’ Union is open to students of all grades and meets every other Wednesday over a pan of brownies.

“My favourite thing is that it is a small group and we are comfortable sharing our work with each other. It’s a judgment free zone to get critical feedback on our work,” said Carmen Roskos, a member of the WU.

The members have different reasons for joining and different reasons that they stay with Writers’ Union.

“I joined for the brownies. I loved the brownies so much my freshman year,” said Juliana Martin, a senior in Writers’ Union.

Writers’ Union has switched leaders, meeting places and meeting times, but it has been around for many years and has no end in sight.

“Our goal was to have a place for all those creative minds to have a voice,” said Mr. Laraby, who initiated the group’s annual publication of student art and writing, The Muse.

He would be happy to know Writers’ Union 2015 has started work on the upcoming publication.