Monday, April 8, 2013
Sleepless nights are usually the result of poor planning or time management skills. The UWG Creative Writing Guild, however, planned their collective all-nighter months in advance. Students showed up as early as 4 p.m. on Thursday, April 4, with pillows, blankets, laptops and snacks. Resident assistants teamed up to provide pizza for residents and writers alike, and the Creative Writing Guild provided coffee throughout the night and breakfast early the next morning. The event, which may become an annual or bi-annual event, was called “Write-All-Night-A-Thon.”
“If there’s one group more infamous than college students for staying up late, it would probably be writers,” said Rachel Williams, graduate student and vice president of the Creative Writing Guild. “When you’re dealing with both at once, you might as well not even plan anything that starts before noon. A lot of us do our best writing after midnight, and we’ve generally had low attendance at our Saturday morning write-a-thons, so it just made sense to try an overnight writing session. We’ve had about double our usual number of people so far, and it’s only 11 p.m.”
Some writers sat hunched over their laptops, blocking out the world with their headphones. Others made jokes, asked for feedback on ideas, and engaged in collaborative storytelling activities. Zombies appeared to be the most common theme in the students’ stories. Several people left for bed between midnight and 2 a.m. Around 4 a.m., the remaining members chugged coffee and mumbled sleepily about politics before deciding to make a trip to Dunkin’ Donuts, where they cheerfully ordered bagels and donut holes to share with the cleaning staff.
A few attendees, Williams included, spent the night working on their fiction projects. The majority, however, appeared to be writing papers or doing other school assignments. “I just got done doing homework for about 14 hours,” said Bernadette Sharpe, UWG resident assistant. “I'm almost completely done with everything for one class. We also had fun and food; it was great! Three other people and I stayed the whole time, or at least from when they arrived until the bittersweet, donut-y end.”
With a total of about 15 writers in attendance, the executive board members of CWG say there will likely be another “Write-All-Night-A-Thon” next semester. “I think this was a great experience,” said Williams. “It’s very stress-relieving, because either you’re having fun writing, you’re having fun with your friends, or you’re actually doing your school projects—or all of the above! Coffee and a solid support network are critical to surviving the last few weeks of any semester, so I imagine we will do this again in November, possibly as part of National Novel Writing Month.”
All Creative Writing Guild events are open to anyone with an interest in writing, regardless of experience or preferred genre. CWG is currently planning their end-of-the-year bash on April 19. For more information about the organization or their events, please contact Emily Hipchen, CWG’s faculty advisor, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo (credit Rachel Williams) CWG President Tyler Key scribbles stories on several dry-erase boards