March 12, 2012
When Shelby Shively decided to double-major in sociology and women’s and ethnic studies, she knew she wouldn’t be able to fit a creative writing minor without going over her already planned five years of school.
Since she’s dreamed of becoming an author since ninth grade, Shively still wanted to be able to work on her creative writing. So she decided to start a club.
“If I started the club, I could still get that workshop environment I enjoy and still get feedback from others. I’m sure there’s lots of people who feel the same,” said Shively.
When Shively first decided she wanted to be a writer, she thought she was really good. “I think now I wrote as well as the average ninth grader,” noted Shively.
Shively likes to write poetry and fiction, as well as creative non-fiction. She’s written notes on Facebook similar to blogging and has received a positive response.
Her first creative work was entitled “The Moon Boat” and was written when she was in eighth grade. The concept came to her when she was looking at the moon.
“The moon looked like a boat, the clouds looked like a sea,” said Shively.
Like her favorite novels, “Ella Enchanted” by Gail Carson Levine and “Nineteen Minutes” by Jodi Picoult, Shively likes to include the social issues in her writing.
Shively loves “Ella Enchanted” because Ella is a strong female heroine. “I try to have strong female heroines, not people waiting for life to happen.”
She also enjoys rewritten fairytales and rereads “Ella Enchanted” once a year.
Like many writers, Shively is also an avid reader. Her favorite novelists include Jodi Piccoult, Sarah Dessen and Anna Godbersen.
She loves “Nineteen Minutes,” which explores if bullying justifies murder, because she wants to be a teacher and the issue of bullying concerns her.
“It’s really difficult to stop that. I really connected because even though he did something terrible, it wasn’t entirely his fault,” noted Shively about the book’s protagonist, Peter, who shoots his classmates and teacher after being bullied for years.
She takes what she has learned and applies it to the Creative Writing Club. “We do writing exercises, discuss craft elements and have a story bank in case people are stuck on what to write.”
Shively hopes to continue the workshop in the summer, since it’s difficult to do so during the school year.
If you, like Shively, are an avid reader and writer, she encourages you to join the club. So far, there have been four meetings with no regular set date.
Shively tries to keep meetings to Fridays at 5 p.m. and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org for meeting locations.