5Cs Writing Collective to Host Bigger and Better April Out Loud

April
Out Loud is a month-long series of events and workshops organized by the creative
writing collective 5Cs Out Loud. The month-long extravaganza began two years ago, and is
now an annual feature put on by the organization.

This year, the club has much grander plans for April Out
Loud than in previous years. 5Cs Out Loud (5COL) has planned six events, some in
collaborations with other groups at the 5Cs. According to Christina Bejjani PO ’13,
a leader of 5COL, events this year will be “bigger and better.” In the past, the
series consisted of 5COL-run writing workshops and did not include outside
speakers or performers, as it will this year.

“Last
year it was just students, and we didn’t invite any outside speakers. However
it was still very popular. A lot of kids came and performed their own pieces
and we are hoping for a lot of student-based participation this year too,” Loren Hinton PO ’13 said.

This
year’s April Out Loud will still hold student workshops, but will also bring
prominent spoken word performers, a young adult fiction author, a review
editor and professors from the 5Cs and other colleges.

April Out Loud will kick off April 7 with Crafternoon, an
event that 5COL is co-hosting with the Queer Resource Center (QRC). Participants
with the QRC will be making crafts and participants with 5COL will write a
story inspired by the crafts. 5COL predicts that the event will be experimental.

“We
plan to ‘piggy back’ off each other and perhaps try to write a story inspired
by an art piece and vice versa,” Hinton said. “We are just trying that out and
it seems pretty fun.”

The second April Out Loud event April 10 is a PSU
debate titled “College
Writing’s Relevance in the Real World: Fact or Fiction?” Bejjani said
that they were co-hosting
the debate with the CMC and Pomona Writing Centers and the ASPC. The debate has
a remarkable list of speakers, including Pamela Bromley, Director of the Pomona
College Writing Center, M.G. Lord, Professor of the USC Dornsife School of
Professional Writing, Matthew Specktor, author and senior editor of the L.A.
Review of Books and Dale Stephens, founder of UnCollege and author of upcoming novel, Hack Your Education.

“We are
discussing whether or not the writing we learn in school is actually useful
outside of the academic field,” Hinton said. “I’m curious to see what everyone
has to say about the topic.”

After
the debate, the club has a series of workshops followed by an open-mic event.

“We
start our workshops on the 18th, Wednesday, with Professor Arden Reed’s
(Pomona College) workshops called ‘Writing Essays = Creative Writing,’ which is
about how writing an essay is also like creative writing,” Hinton said.

Next,
there will be a novel-writing workshop titled ‘Creating a Killer Plot with
Author Shannon Messenger.’ Messenger is a debut author whose first book will
be published in October and whose second book—a young adult novel—will be published
in the spring of 2013, according to Hinton.

The
novel writing workshop will be followed by a poetry workshop conducted by Pomona
Professor of English Claudia Rankine.

Bejjani
expressed excitement about including hosting professor-led workshops.

“That we
have English professors wanting to lead workshops is bigger than last year too.
We get to interact with professors in a different way, since it’s a not the
same environment as being in class,” she said.

April
Out Loud will culminate in ‘Wordfest,’ an open-mic event. The event has been
highly popular in the past and this year the club expects a better turnout because
slam poets Conney Williams and Jerry Quickley will also be performing.

“Jerry
Quickley is hilarious, and we are really excited to have him. Both of them are
really good and prominent in the national poetry slam circuit,” Hinton said.

The
group hopes to reach a wide audience this year and get students from all 5Cs
involved, Hinton said.

5COL
aims to connect student writers, as there are currently few avenues for
creative writing on the campuses.

“I know
that there are a lot of people who like to do creative writing on the side, and
we just wanted to make a space for them to come together and find company”
Hinton said.

Both
Hinton and Bejjani believe that connecting writers with other writers improves
one’s own writing.

“You learn a lot of different ways to look at
things, and to approach writing in newer, exciting ways,” Bejjani said. “Other
writers can tell you the impact own your writing makes on them. This is something
that you can’t really see yourself, and can be invaluable as a writer.”

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