Open Mic Night creates platform for writers

Tiffany Swinney

Although it was cold outside, words shared by those who attended Open Mic Night Thursday brought a warm sense of camaraderie to the small group that gathered. A variety of styles, themes and lengths of poetry were read during the course of the evening.

The reading, hosted by the Washburn Writers Program, took place 7 p.m. in the Shawnee Room of Washburn’s Memorial Union. The WWP consists of four members and was formed in spring 2004. The group sponsors weekly Writers’ Circle meetings in addition to Open Mic Nights.

Writers’ Circle meetings give members of the Washburn Community opportunities to improve their skills as writers, receiving feedback from peers in a relaxed setting. At Open Mic Nights, all who attend are encouraged to read from their work or just supportively listen. Not only poetry but any type of creative writing can be read. The advantages of attending WWP events are great no matter whether one is a reader or a listener.

“It helps create a sense of community, and in a very real sense it helps eliminate fear,” said Ann Callies, Washburn educational opportunities director and WWP administrative staff member of Open Mic Night. “The more you write and the more you communicate through words, the better communicator you’ll be.”

Danielle Smith, a core member of Washburn Writers and a student at Washburn, believes attending events such as Open Mic Night is beneficial.

“It gives a platform to get out there and share your work and get feedback,” said Smith. “It’s fun to hear what other people in the Washburn community are creating.”

Upcoming WWP events and their locations are posted at The next Writer’s Circle meeting will take place Monday, April 7, in Mabee Library. Each WWP event begins at 7 p.m. All Washburn students and faculty are encouraged to participate.