English Club, New Moon

Grace Riggert

The UW Oshkosh English Club join forces with New Moon Café will host a weekly community-based writing workshop on Wednesdays starting Nov. 4 at 4 p.m. Coffee and Quill Creative Writing was an idea started by English Club member David Gold. “I am very excited to get this going,” Gold said. “I love the fact that it got backed by [the English Club]. I can see getting something like this going [would] be a pretty big undertaking if I were to just do myself.” Aaron Baer, owner of New Moon Café, approached Gold to start the workshop. “I mentioned that I worked at the Writing Center, and [Baer] was like ‘bingo,’” Gold said. “He asked if I’d be interested in doing some sort of creative writing thing [at New Moon Café].” Gold said the workshop will switch between genres, and a writing exercise will determine the theme for each month. “One month we’d focus on poetry, another memoir and fiction,” Gold said. “We’d probably rotate between those three because I think those give people the most creative freedom.” Gold said his goal isn’t necessarily to create publishable pieces, but something polished enough that people would feel comfortable sharing. “I’d like to get people to have something that they are proud [of] at the end of the month,” Gold said. “Then at the end of the month, we’d like to go to the open mics [at New Moon] on Tuesday and read them.” According to English Club president Shane Conner, the English Club has held workshops in the past including a 12-hour Read-Write-A-Thon. “I was very excited when David first approached me with the idea of the workshop,” Conner said. “The English Club has held some creative writing workshops in the past, but we’ve never held workshops regularly. This kind of workshop that New Moon and David are creating represents something the club has always wanted to do but never had the resources or the time to dedicate.” Other members of the English Club said they are looking forward to the workshop and what it’ll bring to the community. “I’m positively thrilled to see this new group take form,” English Club secretary Cheyenne Perzentka said. “The English Club can only reach so many people, but through this group we can involve other community members and hopefully create a safe space for people to be creative together.” Perzentka said she hopes the workshop will connect people on and off campus and inform the community about what the English Club is. “I think this will help the English Club and community by creating connections between on and off-campus residents,” Perzentka said. “This will help the English Club by bringing our own members and reaching out to members who have graduated and possibly those who do not have time to come to our meetings.” Conner said he hopes the workshop will not only connect the campus and the Oshkosh community but also create an entirely new one. “This will help the community, because it allows a unique blend of students and community members to participate in a subject they are passionate about,” Conner said. “In essence, it will create a new community around creative writing.” Gold said he hopes he can change people’s minds about the process of writing. “There’s this idea that English majors are reclusive and writing is a reclusive activity,” Gold said. “It’s really a social process. That’s my angle with the workshops is to spread the idea of creative writing as a social process.“