AJ Hoffman

A canvas for words: Wesleyan professor proposes creative writing workshops for all ages at Colonial Arts Center

BUCKHANNON – A West Virginia Wesleyan College professor hopes to provide creative writing classes for all ages at the Colonial Arts Center.

WVWC professor AJ Hoffman attended the March 3 CAC board meeting to pitch her services as a creative writing teacher.

“I have been teaching freshman composition at Wesleyan,” Hoffman said. “I thought it would be fun to integrate writing classes with the local youth through the CAC, and I had a couple of ideas for classes, one being an intro course for students of any age.”

The class would include the building blocks for writing creatively, including lessons on grammar and punctuation, but the focus would be on writing and workshopping with the rest of the class.

“The end goal would be to have a reading at the CAC, and I’d also love to explore the idea of publishing a class chat book at the end of the six-week period,” Hoffman said. “The writing classes would meet once a week for six weeks, with the classes being about an hour and a half to two hours.”

During the last two sessions, participants would divide into small groups or pairs and work together to edit their pieces that would appear in the chat book.

“The very first meeting of the class, I would introduce myself, the students introduce themselves to each other and to me, and we would talk about the writing group, what we’re planning to do with the showcase and the chat books,” Hoffman said. “They can also talk about their personal writing goals, if they are wanting to pursue writing as a college degree, if they’re just wanting to write for fun.

“Then the very first thing they would do in that first class would be a free write. I would apply prompts for the students, and they would just write for 20 to 40 minutes, and then at the end of the writing period, they are welcome to share with each other.”

At the end of the first session, the students would submit their work to Hoffman and then each student would present their work to the class during their next session.

“While the student is reading what they’ve written, the other participants of the group would be listening and taking notes and write a critique on their printed copy that I will supply for them,” Hoffman said. “I would also write and hand feedback back to the students from the previous week.”

Hoffman already contacted a printing company about supplying the end of session chat books for the class.

“Whenever I was an undergrad at Wesleyan, we did a creative writing course and we published chat books through the service center on campus,” Hoffman said. “It wasn’t really publishing, we put it together ourselves, and they printed them, but that would also be an option. I thought they could sell the chat books for like $5 or something. Obviously the students would get to keep their own copy, but there could be little bit of fundraising, a little bit of something that the students could work towards in the six weeks and then be able to hold that product they created in their hands.”

City recorder Randy Sanders asked if Hoffman had an idea when she would want to start the classes. Hoffman said she would love to start whenever possible. The board agreed the class was a good idea, but they needed to work out payment structures for the students, Hoffman and the CAC.

News Feed

Subscribe to remove popups, or just enjoy this free story and support our local businesses!