As part of the SLCC Community Writing Center’s (SLCC CWC) 10th anniversary celebration, the SLCC CWC is holding a two-day workshop titled “10 of 10: Celebrating Ten Years of Community Writers” on July 28 and Aug. 4, 2011 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. both evenings.
The question that the writing center is addressing at this workshop is “Why Write?”
“Writing is often seen as an obligation,” Andrea Malouf said, director of the SLCC CWC and assistant professor of English at SLCC, “but now in the digital age, it is even more important than ever.”
Malouf cited texting and emailing as two examples of why writing has become so important.
“We see writing make a change in people’s lives every day,” she said.
Something as simple as a resume and cover letter or college application can help a person make a change for the better in his or her social status.
Malouf said that for students who already do a lot of writing, the question posed during this workshop may help to make them stronger writers as they examine what it is that they are doing.
“We have a fundamental right to communication,” Malouf said. “We take it for granted in this nation that everybody can write.”
Malouf referenced a story about an inmate involved in one of the SLCC CWC writing programs at the prison came into the writing center and told them that the program changed how he thought about communication. In turn, this led to him being able to better express himself in ways that are acceptable to society.
Starting with the Guttenberg Bible which helped fuel the rise of Protestantism, books have changed the world. “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” by Harriet Beecher Stowe was the catalyst for the Civil War. Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle” led to the Meat Inspection Act of 1906.
Books are not the only writings that have changed the world. Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense,” the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States were instrumental in the formation of the United States of America.
Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal” exposed the plight of the Irish during a potato famine, and the articles of reporters Robert Woodward and Carl Bernstein led to the impeachment and resignation of President Richard Nixon.
The SLCC CWC is open to the community because “higher education is not separate from but a part of the community,” Malouf said. The SLCC CWC offers a way for people to continue learning.
Malouf said that there are practices that silent others and cited poverty and illiteracy as examples. The CIA World Factbook reports that the United States has a 99 percent literacy rate, which leaves one percent of the population unable to read and write.
To complete the 10th anniversary celebration, the SLCC CWC will hold Write Fest on Oct. 22, 2011. Scheduled to start at 10 a.m., Write Fest will feature several interactive writing activities. Cake will be served at 5 p.m. and a public reading of “sine cera” will be held at 6 p.m.
For more information on the SLCC CWC and its programs, visit slcc.edu/cwc/