Starting university can be a pretty overwhelming experience, especially in a new city, and even more so when that city is seven seas away from anything you call ‘home’. There’s tens of classes you have to go to, formalities to be completed, and new friends to be made. Amidst all this chaos, it can be nice to have your own small band of people whom you can connect to over similar interests and make a home out of. The BLUG thus set out looking for such ‘homes away from home’ and that’s how we came across the Göttingen Writers Guild –
Göttingen Writers Guild is a student club dealing with all things literature. From group-writing workshops to discussions and study of various literary devices, the Guild is a one-stop destination for anyone seeking to improve their hand. The very first time I got to know of them however, was through a big flyer with the words “ATTENTION WRITERS” written in bold on top. I have to say it definitely did catch my attention. The flyer was for inviting submissions for their latest project funded by the AKB Stiftung’s ‘Creativity and Studies’ programme (“Kreativität im Studium“) – a literary collection of Göttingen University students. I was immediately curious, and over the next few days arranged to meet with the group and see for myself the people behind this initiative.
Göttingen Writers Guild was found in the winter semester of 2018-19 and has been running ever since. Beginning with a group of 6-7 people, their numbers quickly swelled up to 30 as more and more people got to know about them. “The idea was clear,” says Brian Ironmonger, one of the earliest members of the Guild, “we just wanted a place to come together and exchange our ideas, get feedback on our writing, and so on.”
Going back to their latest project; the Guild has been one of the recent winners of the ‘Creativity and Studies’ program. The idea for their project is to bring to the fore all the talent hidden in our University. They plan to put together and publish a literary collective of all forms submitted by the students of the University. It would be an anthology of poetry, prose, fiction, travelogues, and even artwork! “Everyone has something to say, everyone has a story to share, and we are looking to bring them out and get them together for all to see!”, says Brian. Coming to the importance of winning the award, I discovered that while it definitely acted as a catalyst to bring out the collective, the group had planned to go ahead with this project even if they had not won the funding.
The group comes together every week on Tuesdays. The usual components of their meetings include group-writing sessions, feedback and critique of their own writings, and sometimes even workshops. The workshops are organized on a rotational basis and span a wide variety of topics. Incidentally, in one of their meetings I joined I had the opportunity to attend a dialogue-writing workshop by Brian. The whole experience was extremely informative and interesting. Notes on the various forms of dialogue-writing with examples were passed around. We went through each of them individually and it was only then over animated and lively discussions that I could appreciate the art of dialogue-writing.
The members of the Göttingen Writers Guild are as diverse as the things they write about. The Guild brings together people from all walks of life (or all programs of the University) and comprises of majors such as Biology, Chemistry, and of course English and German Philology. Their love for writing is what draws all of them together. If you too want to join this band of budding writers all you have to do is to simply show up at their next Tuesday meeting. The group is very open and inclusive and can be reached out over Facebook or over their website.
Göttingen Writers Guild is a wonderful platform for anyone who wants to improve their writing and keep their passion for it going strong. Attending any of their meetings is sure to give you enough inspiration to get back to your own writing in full force.