Left: Avery Chapman,
middle Left: Joy Eidsor,
middle Right: Alexander LeVoir,
right: Liam Spillane
Left: Avery Chapman, middle Left: Joy Eidsor, middle Right: Alexander LeVoir, right: Liam Spillane
Emily Thor

Century Offers a Wealth of Opportunities for Aspiring Creative Writers

Hannah Ollinger

Century College offers multiple opportunities for students who are interested in creative writing. In addition to its seven offered creative writing courses – ranging from Introduction to Creative Writing to Memoir to Poetry and Screenwriting – there is also the Creative Writing Club, as well as a College-wide Writing Contest hosted by The Century Times.

I had the chance to sit down with Delaney Clendenen, an active member of the Creative Writing Club, to find out more. Clendenen is a first-year student studying education. She told me that she liked to write when she was younger but had dropped out of the habit. When asked what motivated her to start up again, she said, “Seeing the posters was really helpful, like it was a little sign.”

So what is the advantage of the club over a class? Clendenen says the club has given her motivation to write more and in a more relaxed way. “Before the club, I was super tense with my writing,” she said. “I was like the first draft has to be perfect and I always have to write in the perfect manner. Everyone in the club was so relaxed and if it’s not perfect who cares? We can work on it.”

She said that not only has she enjoyed writing more and having a more relaxed mindset but it has also opened up doors to other types of writing. Adventure and fantasy genres are what interest her most. However, since joining the club she has found that she enjoys writing poetry, as well.

Writing stories and poetry doesn’t interest you but writing music or creating video games is more your style? Clendenen says that people have into the club for just that reason. Lyric writing and video game plots are creative writing, as well, and the club has helped out student’s who have just stopped by for feedback.

I was also able to talk to Celina McManus, an English Instructor and Advisor for the Creative Writing Club. They shared with me a memorable moment from the Creative Writing Club: “A memorable moment that comes to mind is when we hoped to have an outside writing day on writing the five senses. It started to rain, but they embraced it. The group ran outside and bounced along in the rain and came back in and discussed the way that felt, what smells they noticed, what other sensations arose.” They went on to say that this shows that the club is all about having fun while writing. If you are interested in checking out the club, they meet every Tuesday from 2:00 to 4:00 PM in W2320 on the West Campus, as well as on Zoom. For more information, you can contact Celina McManus at [email protected].

I took some time to speak with Amy Fladeboe, another English Professor who teaches creative writing. She gave some advice for young writers who may be struggling to find their footing. “Try out a creative writing course. We’ve got amazing faculty who are also practicing authors. We have load of tips and tricks to share, and our writing prompts will always get your pens moving or keyboards clacking.” Not only does taking a creative writing course help you learn more, it also helps you create time to write. Finding time to set aside to write is one of the most common challenges writers of all levels face. When it comes to taking classes outside of Century, Fladeboe suggests checking out the Loft Literary Center. She calls it “a great place to take extra-curricular creative writing classes with local acclaimed authors and teaching artists.” The Loft Literary center offers classes all year long both online and in-person.

Kaitlyn Baker

Fladeboe also gave some advice for students who are looking to get their work published. “I’m a big fan of Runestone Journal because they only publish undergraduates, and they’re run by students in the creative writing department at Hamline University. We’ve had many Century creative writing certificate students transfer to Hamline and serve as editors for Runestone.” She also reminds the importance of reading works from creative writing publishers, so you can get a feel for their aesthetic before submitting works to them. Fladeboe also suggests following RainTaxi’s Literary Calendar of Events. It’s a good way to get to know the creative writing community within the Twin Cities and potentially meet new people with similar goals, and interests.

There are countless creative writing opportunities for writers of all skill levels. A few other options include The White Bear Center of the Arts, which sometimes offers writing classes. Writing contests can be a great way to test out your skills as well, and potentially earn a prize. A great website to check out if you want to enter a contest is Reedsy. It’s a website with a section dedicated to posting different writing contests throughout the entire world.

Creative writing can be scary to jump into, but once you do it can lead to endless opportunities from careers, meeting new people, or even just having a brand new hobby for you to sink your teeth into.

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