Spit Reel

April 10th, 2012

Good afternoon fellow writers and readers,

I know my the lovely Courtney updated you about the March 30th Spit Reel, but I just wanted to post some pictures from the event. Enjoy, and thanks again to Erin Kuhlmann and to everyone who made the event possible.

Photos courtesy of my mother, Susan Schroeder.

Until next time, keep writing!





Friday Update and Spit Reel

April 5th, 2012

Happy Friday!

As April has just begun and as this is National Poetry Month, it’s a good time to start thinking seriously about writing. But amongst all the classwork and activities and clubs and internships and family dealings and—wait, what was I talking about? Oh yeah, finding time to sit down and actually write in that mosh pit of things that always inevitably makes it onto our to do lists and takes up writing time. Actually taking the time to write—heck, even thinking about writing, such as figuring out a plot or creating a character—is essential in order to continue to grow as a writer. So here’s some tips on how to do that, and still give yourself some downtime, courtesy of Writer’s Digest:


Also, In The Snake Magazine is currently looking for submissions! Although this is National Poetry Month, In The Snake is looking for fiction submissions for their online journal. I encourage everyone—even if you don’t consider yourself a fiction writer—to consider sending in a short story. One of the most important aspects of writing is putting your name out there, and finding chances for publication is a great way to build your resume. Here is the like to the main site: http://www.inthesnake.com/

Also, an additional shout out to all of those who attended and read at Spit Reel on March 30th! Featured readers Erin Kuhlmann, Sally Ramirez, and Meaghan Clohessy hit it out of the park, and all of those who signed up to read during open mic did a wonderful job as well, including our guest University of Pittsburgh writing students. There were great readings, great company, a great turnout, and even some pretty good food, cookies courtesy of myself and Melissa Esposito. We’re off to a wonderful start, and everyone’s hard work allowed Spit Reel to come together very well.

Have a great week, don’t stress about finals, and try to find the time to write!

C. Druzak

Weekly Writing Advice

March 22nd, 2012

Happy Friday, Writers!

It’s been a little warm and sunny around Chatham lately, and the lure to grab a smoothie from Cafe Rachel and laze about watching the flowers bloom is beginning to get very tempting. But in order to progress as a writer, one has to constantly keep engaged, writing and reading a little bit every day to build those skills. So say goodbye to the flowers and sunshine for a little while and hello to your computer screens, because here’s your weekly dose of writing advice.

Scene building: one of the first building blocks of writing. From fiction to nonfiction, and even into poetry, the scene can help to situate your reader in time and setting. It can start the tension, be where the reader meets your characters or your initial thoughts. And most importantly, the very first scene in any work is usually what tells your reader if this is a do or a don’t. We all know that feeling: going into the bookstore and picking an unfamiliar book off the shelves, and then setting it right back down again because in the first page, we just aren’t interested. So here’s some tips on how to start creating scenes and putting them together, creating longer works and sucking your readers in:


Hope you enjoy, and good luck!

C. Druzak

Next Meeting

March 20th, 2012

Good evening fellow Creative Writing Club members,

Our next meeting will be this Wednesday, March 21st at 4:15 on the porch of Lindsay House. I do hope this fabulous weather will hold up so we can enjoy the sunshine! And Spring! Make sure you all make it as Spit Reel is approaching quickly and we have some things to talk over. If you have any questions regarding the meeting please contact Alison Taverna at ataverna@chatham.edu

Have  a lovely evening and until next time, keep writing!


Happy Writing!

March 17th, 2012

Good late afternoon fellow writers and readers,

I just wanted to remind everyone that the Rachel Carson Writing Contest deadline is approaching. The deadline is March 20th. I hope that everyone is getting along nicely with their entries. I think mine is going well so far. If you need any help with the entry please feel free to contact me at mesposito@chatham.edu. Once again, refer to the contest guidelines that I previously posted, because the cover page needs to have specific information included.

Also, the second Spit Reel is about two weeks away and I am getting super excited! We have worked very hard on the event and we are going to make it rock! There will be creative writing students from Pitt joining us, thanks to the hardworking Sal Pane, and I think it will be a good chance for us to connect our writing communities. Come and join the Creative Writing Club to come together and showcase our amazing talents that we have all worked so hard to cultivate. It is being held in the Mellon Living Room (we promise to liven it up a bit) at 4:30 on Friday March 30th. There will be an open mic section after the featured readers so bring your edited stuff. This is an amazing opportunity, but I don’t think I should have to tell you all that. It is time to really start thinking about our writing in terms of our careers- we have to start sometime, why not now? If you are interested in reading for the open mic please send an e-mail to Erin Kuhlmann at ekuhlmann@chatham.edu. Let’s make this night rock.

One last thing before I go: I wanted to send a shout out to the lovely Paige Hoffman and the Artist Collective for hosting a fabulous Extraction the other night. I think it really brought the Chatham community together and it really allowed us to show what the artists on campus can do. Great job!

Keep working hard on your contest entries and enjoy the sunshine.

Until next time, keep writing!


I’m Back

March 15th, 2012

Good evening fellow writers and readers,

I apologize for being away for so long. I hope you all understand.

Onward with the news: There are 3 spots available for Featured Reader for this month’s Spit Reel. The nominations have been opened up to all creative writers. So, send a well edited piece, or two or three, into Alison Taverna at ataverna@chatham.edu by this Friday. I know you all have pieces in your repertoire, just polish them up and click send! It’s an amazing opportunity to speak publicly and is also a great career builder. Get yourself out there!

Additionally, there will be Workshop Series: Submissions and Conferences from 5-7 in Lindsay House. The club is having guest speakers from Sigma Tau Delta to talk about their experiences at conferences. Afterward, there will be a workshop, so bring pieces that you have been meaning to work on. Workshops are always valuable in my experience: something great always comes out of it.

After the workshop starting at 8 is the Extraction event! For all of the readers at the open mic portion, let’s have a great time. Everyone else that stops by will have a fabulous time as well. There is music and food- a great combination. See you tomorrow.

Until next time, keep writing!


Weekly Writing Article

February 25th, 2012

Good evening writers and readers,

Tonight I am here to offer you a writing article about “chaptering”. This is a critical process for any novel writer, whether it is nonfiction, fiction, or memoirs. At some point, we all have to start thinking about when to start and end our chapters for the most effect. Some of you may be this far and some of you  may not be far enough along on any piece to start thinking about this, but it is still a good article to read and digest. Enjoy!


Until next time, keep writing.


Words and Beats

February 21st, 2012

Good evening fellow writers and readers,

I have a fascinating event to tell you about. This Thursday, February 23rd at 7:30 Words and Beats will be held in the Mellon Board Room. It is only hosted once a year and is a great chance to mingle with the MFA students. Not only is it a great chance to socialize, our Creative Writing Club Vice President, Daeja Baker is reading!

I really hope everyone comes out to support her and to hear her speak. She is truly amazing at her poetry.

Until next time, keep writing!

P.S- If anyone needs help with the Rachel Carson Contest submissions feel free to e-mail me at mesposito@chatham.edu, or if you have any ideas or suggestions for the blog. Thanks!


T.G.I.F again

February 18th, 2012

Good evening fellow writers and readers,

I hope midterms are going well for both students and faculty at Chatham University.

To get us all out of the writing slump I found an article on writing dialogue. Dialogue is tricky and drives the story forward, so it needs to sound real and not like robots took over your character. Here’s the link: http://www.writersdigest.com/uncategorized/writing-dialogue-the-5-best-ways-to-make-your-characters-conversations-seem-real?et_mid=538945&rid=233119701 . I hope you all find it as helpful as I did.

Writers Digest is now accepting entries to their 81st Annual Writing Competition. There are ten categories to compete in and there are mega cash prizes. The early bird deadline is May 1st, so get to it. Unfortunately, it costs money to enter but it is a wide spread competition and winning or even an honorable mention is fantastic and a great honor. You compete against many of all ages and I encourage you to try it, even just for the experience. So, if you have the money I encourage this. I entered the Short Short Competition and I’m waiting to hear back, but if not I still got a great challenge and a great story out of it. Here’s the link for more information and how to enter.


Workshop and Extraction Reading Times

February 16th, 2012

Good morning fellow writers and readers,

I have good news. On Monday February 20th the Creative Writing Club is having a workshop from 3-6 in Lindsay House. Lorena Williams, D. Gilson and Sally Ramirez will be holding the workshop on Manuscripts, Resumes and Portfolios. They ask that you bring your current resumes and C.V.’s so that they can take a look and help you improve them.

Additionally, on Monday February 27th at 7:00 and Tuesday February 28th at 11:15 in the basement of the Welker Room there will be Extraction meetings. The purpose of the meeting is to get a feel for how long your piece that you will be reading on March 15th is. So come prepared and e-mail Paige Hoffman at PHoffman@chatham.edu to let her know what time you will be able to come and read.

Have a great rest of this dreary Pittsburgh day and until next time, keep writing!