Several current and recently graduated RC Creative Writing students share some of their activities:
Recent alumna Julia Byers is the founder of the Chapter One Young Writers Conference, a conference by and for teens and young adults. Speakers are young writers with the knowledge and experience necessary to succeed in the publishing industry, such as 2015’s keynote speaker Kat Zhang (The Hybrid Chronicles, HarperCollins). Ch1Con’s mission is to provide affordable and fun opportunities for young writers to learn about the writing world, along with establishing a support community through which they can grow and learn. The next Ch1Con will take place in the northern suburbs of Chicago, IL during the summer of 2017. You can find more information at: www.chapteroneconference.com.
Recent alumnus Alex Kime worked at the Neutral Zone, a local teen center, where he coordinated the Volume Youth Poetry Project, which includes weekly poetry workshops, teaching in local high schools and coordinating youth poetry slams. At the time, Alex said, “I also work for the Educational Theatre Company, which uses theatrical performance as a tool to start dialogue about issues ranging from social justice to teamwork and getting oriented at the University. I’m a CommonGround facilitator through the Program on Intergroup Relations and I also do panels about LGBTQ+ identity through the Spectrum Center.”
Recent alumna Lauren Stachew minored in Cultures and Literatures of Eastern Europe. She said, “I’ve been interested in studying my father’s family ancestry, Ukrainian, since I was fourteen, and with the recent acquisition of a family tree that my cousin compiled in 1986, I’ve started to immerse myself in research. With the help of digital archives and correspondence with my great aunt (who started this research many years ago but has since abandoned it with her old age), I’m tracing the line from myself to as far back in history as I can manage. With this research, I hope to make something of a writing project out of it – either historical fiction or non-fiction – depending on what I find. I originally entered this university with the intention of studying History, and even though I’ve changed paths, I suppose in a way I still am studying history here – my own history.”