Students all over campus are falling victim to a terrible ailment that has no vaccination. Students refer to it as writer’s block.
The Student Writing Center and the Community Writing Center are two resources students can use to get over writer’s block and move forward in their writing endeavors.
“The Student Writing Center’s purpose is to help SLCC students to improve as writers and succeed as students,” said Clinton Gardner, Student Writing Center coordinator.
The Student Writing Center has offices at the Taylorsville Redwood Campus, the South City Campus and the Jordan Campus. Appointments and walk-in visits are welcome at any of these locations.
Students with time or transportation constraints can contact an advisor through live online tutorial sessions or by email. These services are available to all students, staff and faculty at SLCC.
Whether meeting in person or online, advisors do not correct or re-write students’ papers for them. Instead, they offer feedback and help students develop the analytical skills to be able to improve their work.
“When you get feedback from other people, your ideas are tested, your writing is tested,” said Gardner, “You can improve and make it better.”
Gardner emphasizes that no matter how advanced student writers might be, feedback is still how they will continue to strengthen their abilities.
The Student Writing Center and the Community Writing Center are both designed to help writers improve their work but there are some key differences between them. The main difference is the type of writing each center focuses on.
“We work with SLCC students with assignments specifically for academic classes,” Gardner said. “Our focus is working on academic writing because we’re more familiar with the curriculum and what’s going on. The Community Writing Center works with the community,” said Gardner.
As Gardner says, the Community Writing Center aims to help members of the entire community. The center is located in Library Square of downtown Salt Lake City at 210 East 400 South, Suite B.
“Salt Lake Community College funds the Community Writing Center,” said Elizabeth Coleman, the Community Writing Center events coordinator.
“So we’re possible because of Salt Lake Community College but instead of serving the needs of the students, we’re here to serve the needs of the community,” Coleman said.
The Community Writing Center provides assistance with all non-academic writing issues. This includes helping community members with their practical writing needs.
“If someone needs to write a letter to their bill company or electric company, we can help them with that,” said Coleman, “If they want to write creative writing like novels or poetry or screenwriting we also assist with that as well.”
Like the Student Writing Center, the Community Writing Center offers one-on-one writing assistance. This allows the writer to get personalized help in revising their work. The Community Writing Center also has a wide variety of group workshops where writers can give each other feedback and share ideas.
The subjects for workshops offered are determined by the requests of the community members. Topics for upcoming workshops include poetry and prose inspired by nature, letters to the editor and other public officials and personal essays about past and present experiences. Most workshops include a small fee for registration but are free to SLCC students, staff and faculty.
Regardless of their differences, both the Student Writing Center and the Community Writing Center share the same goal. They strive to help people, of all ages and abilities, develop their skills as writers.
“It bridges the gap from being alone in writing to being able to have a place where you can go and share your writing and get help,” said Coleman, “It helps people embrace the fact that writing is a bigger part of our lives than I think people recognize.”