We are the Literary Type

As English Majors, specifically us literature concentrations, a love for books is an essential part of who we are. I recently met someone who asked me to tell him about myself. As usual, I mentioned my go-to: I love to read. I hadn’t thought very much of this response till I considered the fact that this is the one answer I always respond with. In Spanish class: Me gusta leer. First days of class: My name is Katie Hanson and I love to read. This is such an important part of my personality. Think about how often you read and how many times you have used that fact as an indicator of your personality. The reading community is vast and varied, but one that is closely knit. The bogging site Thought Catalog is one I have bookmarked on my browser. They present a wide variety of authors, many of whom are avid readers. Here are some links to interesting articles for the literary type in each of us. While you are digesting your turkey this break, check out these blogs written by fellow readers and pass them on to others who share our passion.

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How to Become a Romance Writer: Step 6

This is the last of the series of “How to Become a Romance Writer.” Sad, I know. But through this journey of writing we have learned several things about romance writing on the way:

Step 1-Stick to Your Goal

Each English Major, Romance writer or not, needs to stick to their goal. That goal may not be becoming a romance writer, but we all have a dream. Make those dreams come true by not giving up on yourself, or others.

Step 2-Write

No matter where you are or where you go, write. Carry around a notebook if you have to. Write down one word a day, or a million. Either way write as much as you can and write about anything, even the small ideas that pop into your head.

Step 3-Read

Enjoy books, stories, poems, and drafts. Take time to read. If it means reading while sitting on the toilet, do it. Expand your mind and your book collection.

Step 4-Go

Authors all over the world have meet and greets, book signings, and question and answer sessions. Go! Attend! Discuss! You need the environment of a group of people all under one roof enjoying what they do, and who they are.

Step 5-Learn

Not just the 2+2 stuff either. Learn about grammar, the history of literature, what makes a good romance writer, and even how to cook a meal every now and again (you might need this for future use).

And finally, at the end of this wonderful semester:

Step 6-Create.

Create community. Spend time with fellow English majors, and even non-English majors. Hey, they need friends too! Get to know your professors too. I promise they won’t bite (not hard anyway).

Create laughter. Go to Starbucks with a couple of friends now and again. You need to feel your lungs expand because of quality time, and good cappuccinos. If the cappuccinos go through your nose, be sure to always get napkins.1375680_220930554750442_479959325_n

Create worlds. Think of places you’ve never been to before, and write about them. Write about a world were no one is free, or a world where everyone is equal. Bring what’s in your head out onto paper.

Thank you all for allowing me to discuss something dear to my heart this semester and I hope I have helped at least one Romance Writer in their progression to greatness.


The English Deparment Award Ceremony and Senior Reading is Coming Up Soon!

slider_senior_readingBe sure to mark your calendars now so you can attend the English Department Award Ceremony and Senior Reading!

This event will take place on Thursday, May 8th at 7:00 p.m.

Bring friends and family with you to attend the ceremony/reading; it’s free and open to the public. Come see your friends and fellow students receive awards for their achievements, listen to the senior reading, and stay for some refreshments. Everyone is welcome, so please join us!


English 100 & 200 Conference: Monsters, This Friday!

Illustration by John Kenn

Illustration by John Kenn

Join the WKU English department for the 2014 English 100 & 200 Conference: Monsters!

This Friday, May 2nd in Cherry Hall 125 from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m., the English department will present the English 100 & 200 Conference, and the theme is Monsters–it’s sure to be an interesting event!

The conference will feature readings from English students in 100 and 200 level courses, followed by an opportunity for the audience to participate in a Q & A session with the panelists. Refreshments will be served after the Q & A.

This event is free and open to the public. Come out and support your friends and fellow students!

Open Mic Reading at Half Price Books Outlet

image001On April 17th, the English Club will be hosting an open mic reading night at Half Price Books Outlet on Campbell Lane. The event will begin at 7:00 PM. If you have been yearning to read your original poetry or short stories in front of an audience, now is your chance! Keep in mind that the works you read must be PG given that the store will still be open during the time of this event. Whether you are presenting or just being a spectator, I encourage everyone to attend this open mic reading.

Don’t Forget–Jane Olmsted!

Jane Olmsted 2Dr. Jane Olmsted, head of the WKU Diversity & Community Studies department, will read her prize-winning creative non-fiction for the Creative Writing Reading Series. The event begins at 7:00 pm tonight in Cherry Hall 125.

Want to hear a fantastic piece of non-fiction? Need to fulfill a class requirement? Could you possibly get extra credit out of this? Come hear Dr. Olmsted speak for all those reasons and more! Also, check out her classy-looking website. She has a lot of great things to say.

Terry Bisson: On Writing, Reading, and Realism

Terry Bisson Reading

The room was jammed full about five minutes after this picture was taken

On Wednesday, March 26th, Terry Bisson visited Western Kentucky University for the Creative Writing Reading Series. By 7 p.m. Cherry Hall 125 was packed full of students, professors, readers, writers, and friends of Terry Bisson to hear him read some of his award-winning science fiction.

I have to admit, it was probably the best Reading Series event I’d been to, which admittedly isn’t a lot because I’ve only been here two years. Nonetheless, the reading was excellent. Although I am partial to science fiction and fantasy, Bisson’s stories were witty, powerful, and realistic. There was something about the frankness of each tale that made me feel like I was inside of it, watching from atop the school building or inside the Whole Foods market (and if you were there, you know what I’m talking about).Terry Bisson Reading 2


He also visited the Fantasy Writing and Speculative Fiction courses to speak with the students about writing. Here are a list of things we all learned from Terry Bisson on how to be a science fiction/fantasy writer in Kentucky: Continue reading

Goldenrod Festival: Write On!

DSCN0002[1]As my fellow students slowly filled the Cherry Hall auditorium, I took my seat at the front to have the perfect view. That wonderful view was the back of the spikey-haired head of Matt Hart, the poet invited by the English Club to headline at the Goldenrod Poetry Festival.

(“Matt Hart is the author of five books of poetry, most recently Sermons and Lectures Both Blank and Relentless (Typecast Publishing, 2012) and Debacle Debacle (H_NGM_N Books, 2013). A co-founder and the editor-in-chief of Forklift, Ohio: A Journal of Poetry, Cooking & Light Indusctrial Safety, he lives in Cincinnati and plays in the band TRAVEL.”)

At Goldenrod, the English Club had the amazing opportunity to congratulate and give prizes to the first, second, and third place winners of the poetry contest:

Third place, Richard Heyne, reading his poem: “A Hypothesis on Purgatory When Your Family Needs Heaven to be Real”

Third place, Richard Heyne, reading his poem: “A Hypothesis on Purgatory When Your Family Needs Heaven to be Real”

1-      Ashley Coulter

2-      Kate Warren-Westbrook

3-      Richard Heyne

The English Club decided to make this tenth anniversary special by having eleven winners, instead of the usual ten. After all eleven read their top poems, Mr. Hart was granted the floor. During his reading at the Goldenrod Festival, he gave the audience some interesting facts as he went through each poem. For his opening poem (from his book Debacle Debacle) he remarked that he was fascinated with the word ‘debacle’. He looked it up one day to find out what it meant. What he discovered was that debacle has two meanings: 1- a plan gone awry and 2- a flood. So his recently published book Debacle Debacle actually has two sides to it just like the word has two meanings. Hart also told us that he used to stand in a crowded basement and listen to really loud punk rock music and his writing reflects that.


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