Upstart Writers

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Published on November 7, 2014

Writing is more than just a means for a student to answer test questions or recording an observation. Writing provides a medium for one’s creative energy, aids in expression to get a point across, and allows the writer a chance to record and display what the imagination can conceive (among other things.)

Countless authors have done it before and have been recognized for their talents by their adoring readers, who devour book after book, should that author’s style suit them. However, how does one reach that level of skill and recognition? Where does an inspired writer find a start to spreading their work to the public, and how are they able to get constructive feedback to make their writing the best that it can be?

One objective on most people’s “bucket list” is to write their very own book. This is no mean feat.  It can be terribly intimidating to look at the popular authors of the day, and even discouraging when it is compared to a new writer’s work. Anything worthwhile takes a great deal of effort and publishing a book is no exception. That is why students should make use of the critiques that are available to them. Family and friends are a start, as hopefully they can be trusted to give honest feedback, but better than that is approaching an English professor or tutor for feedback.

Ed Fians, a Humanities lecturer here at Housatonic, observes that there are several members of our college’s staff that are published writers themselves, particularly members of the creative writing department. Fians encourages students to approach these staff members face-to-face with their writing concerns and says that constructive feedback is, “an in-person thing.”  These individuals can be trusted to have education or experience in reading professional work, and already have a fair understanding of how good writing looks and sounds. However, there are plenty of writers who do not have the luxury of attending a school with such valuable resources available to them.

One means for getting feedback and ideally, recognition, is to submit literary pieces to a literary agent, or even a writing contest. Regardless of genre, the Internet is swarming with possible writing contests looking for new talented writers, whether they are skilled in writing fiction, poetry, or otherwise. For instance, Poets & Writers, Inc. hosts a massive collection of writing competitions, available internships, and even possible career opportunities to strong writers, and all can be found on their organization’s website.

With the Internet being the biggest source for both news and entertainment, the necessity for good writers has cemented itself in our culture, and talented writers are always sought after. Whether you use your writing talents to maintain a niche-interest blog, or are destined to be the next national best-seller, the art of writing is competitive and a skill worth honing.