Dotting “I”s and Crossing “T”s: Learn the Art of Editing
June 30 1-3 p.m.
From Hogwarts to Goosebumps: Week-long Speculative Fiction for Kids
July 9, 10, 11 & 12 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Screenwriting: The Filmmaker’s Guide to Storytelling
July 14 & 21, 1 – 3 p.m
Write Your Life in 150 Words or Less: The Micro-Memoir
July 23 & 30 6 – 8 p.m.
To register please call: 801-957-2192
or register online at www.slcc.edu/cwc/
The Salt Lake Community College Community Writing Center (SLCC CWC) hosted the tenth annual Wasatch Iron Pen Competition during the Utah Arts Festival at Library Square on June 22 and 23, 2012.
The Wasatch Iron Pen is a 24-hour writing marathon where writers can compete in one of three categories –fiction, non-fiction or poetry– or the Ultra Iron Pen, in which participants write in all three categories. Like a running marathon, these events test the limits of each competitor, but require mental rather than physical endurance.
“[The Iron Pen] is always a nice, intense experience,” says Ultra Iron Pen first-place winner Donnae Marie Tidwell. “It’s always a challenge, and it was funny this year, sometimes my life is more like fiction than non-fiction. It’s a great adventure.”
Some writers wrote all night, while others were up until midnight writing varied lengths of stories. The challenge was to write as much and for as long as possible in the 24 hour period. Everything was to be hand written without the aid of a computer or electronics.
Participants in the event were from all age groups. A writing prompt was given at 6 p.m. on Friday. Writers had until 6 p.m. on Saturday to turn in their submissions. They all had to incorporate the prompt into their story.
“I thought of the prompt of someone holding up the [Utah] license plate with the picture of the delicate arch against the real delicate arch [in the background] and I just thought about comparing a picture to real life experiences so I wrote about that,” says Aubrey Nyberg, first place winner in the Ultra Iron Pen Youth division.
Reading at the Arts Festival
The winners of the competition read their stories and poems in front of an audience at the Big Mouth Stage during the Utah Arts Festival. Some stories were about road trips while others told of family and loss.
The judges of the competition were from the literary community, such as “Quarterly West” and “Sugarhouse Review.” Contestants were judged in either adult or youth categories. Prizes included books on writing, gift cards, flight lessons and a grand prize of Utah Jazz season pass tickets.
“The thing that I love about the Iron Pen is that you never know what to expect,” says Andrea Malouf, director of the SLCC CWC and assistant professor of English at SLCC. “The idea of writing under pressure for 24 hours was kind of the key. Working with writers, one of the biggest obstacles that a writer seems to face is their own inhibition. It becomes overwhelming. So an event like this where you’re just forced to do it in 24 hours where you have a prompt, it gets people [writing].”
Mayor’s Artist Award
Each year at the Utah Arts Festival the Mayor of Salt Lake City gives awards out to those who have contributed to the community and the arts. Mayor Ralph Becker presented the Mayor’s Artist Award for Service to the Arts by an Organization to the SLCC CWC in a ceremony during the Utah Arts Festival.
The SLCC CWC provides service to the community by offering one-on-one coaching sessions, workshops and writing peer groups that help focus on civic, practical and personal types of writing. Examples of writing assistance they offer would be help in composing letters to state officials, drafting a resume or writing a novel.
Types of workshops at the SLCC CWC that were available free to the public during the Arts Festival were screen and songwriting, creating comic books, zombie survival guide, Timpanogos Storytelling and poetry writing. One of the main attractions to the SLCC CWC during the festival was a giant magnetic poetry board affixed to the doors where passersby were encouraged to create poetry.
“[At the SLCC CWC,] I’ve worked with everyone from high ranking Iraqi diplomats to adults who are struggling with a first grade reading level and everything in between,” says Elisa Stone, associate director of the SLCC CWC and an associate professor of English at SLCC. “After being a college professor for a while, it’s really been fulfilling. I learn along with the people I’m teaching.”
Many of the writing assistant and mentor positions are staffed by volunteers from the AmeriCorps Volunteers in Service to America program as well as members of the community.
Call 801-957-2192 or visit the SLCC CWC online for more information about volunteering or getting involved in their writing programs and workshops.