A New Day in SWA
Santa Fe University of Art and Design’s Student Writers Association, described by its officers as “the closest thing to a party writers get,” is a social writing setting where students of all disciplines gather together to engage in writerly endeavors. Offering regular meetings, open mic nights, and soon to be offering game nights and large events, the club kicked off the spring semester on Jan. 24 with pizza and a discussion of genres as diverse as the attendees.
The room was full at 15 writers, including freshmen, upperclassmen and alumni acting, music production and writing majors. Attendees compared their favorite genres (magical realism and Young Adult realism were popular, while nonfiction and “old white male” fiction got mixed reviews) and wrote one story in the style of multiple genres (no one was particularly enthused by Western, particularly following Harlequin Romance and Dystopian).
The Student Writers Association has changed a lot over the years, and this semester is no different. More dedicated to campus involvement under new Campus Life Coordinator Malcom Morgan, SWA has many plans in the works. One exciting event to come is a 24-Hour Writing Marathon held in Fogelson Library later this term. SWA Event Coordinator Brianna Neumann, a Creative Writing and Literature junior, explains: “From about 3 p.m. to 3 p.m. over a Saturday and Sunday, we’ll all get locked in the library and write together. We’ll have coffee, and have raffles and prizes [for word count achievements] and open mics every few hours, and provide meals for people who sign up for the full twenty-four hours. People can bring sleeping bags or whatever to curl up and take a nap. It’s going to be really fun; it’s going to be like a big party.”
SWA also hopes to participate in the annual Outdoor Vision Fest in collaboration with Audio Engineering and Music Production junior Parker Orr, as well as continue hosting student-led writing seminars (some topics including sex-in-writing, grammar and prose poetry) and offering creative writing mentorship. Along with mentor-requests and SWA email sign-up sheets, the Student Writers Association provides resources, website and newsletter recommendations, prompts and inspirations on its revamped bulletin boards in the Alexis SWA Lounge for all students to use and contribute to.
Club President Amaya Hoke, instigator of the dreaded Western prompt and who has been involved in SWA since her freshman year at SFUAD, will be graduating from the Creative Writing and Literature Department this year, and says that “being in this club and growing in this club, and having the chance to interact with people and meet people, made my entire college experience. I’m really going to miss it. So I hope going forward, new students will take the time to become invested and contribute and become a part of Student Writers Association, because four years later looking back, it’s been consistently one of the most inspiring creative outlets that I’ve had on this campus.”
Student Writers Association meets on Tuesday nights at 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. in the SWA Lounge at the back of Alexis Hall. Students can keep up with SWA activities on their Facebook Group here.
Jackalope staff writer Kylie Yockey is the vice president of the Student Writers Association.