Hello again, friends! Today’s post is going to focus on some of the various creative writing opportunities for students here at Occidental. If you enjoy writing fiction, poetry, or creative non-fiction, then this post is meant for you!The first opportunity I want to mention is Occidental’s annual literary contest. Each winter, the English and Comparative Literary Studies (ECLS) department holds a contest for students to win cash prizes for their original written work. The contest has three categories (fiction, nonfiction, and poetry) and offers prizes of up to two hundred dollars for each one! In addition to the monetary reward, each author gets their piece published in Feast, Occidental’s Art and Literary Magazine. Along with the contest winners, Feast publishes a diverse number of other submissions from the student body. The most recent issue of the magazine was released this past Sunday, containing 13 literary and 22 visual art pieces. Below is a preview of the issue's cover artwork:

Cover Artwork by Hannah Rindlaub, Class of 2015

For more information about Feast, "like" the Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Feast-Arts-and-Literary-Magazine/133624014826 If you’re serious about your creative writing, the Occidental Writer’s Workshop (OWW) can prove to be an incredibly valuable asset. OWW meets every week in the library and runs like a graduate writing program. Writers bring in work to share with the group and receive constructive criticism. They also practice writing techniques in free writing exercises and exchange feedback with one another. The positive environment this creates can be essential in getting those creative juices flowing. Last but not least, Occidental’s Spoken Word Club combines literary and performance art to produce some of the most innovative poetry I’ve ever witnessed. The club holds multiple open mics, poetry slams, and writing workshops throughout the entire year. Some of the past year’s highlights include: the Qualifying Slam, in which student poets competed for a spot on Occidental’s Slam Poetry Team; RISE, a socially conscious open mic that served as part of Prison-Industrial Complex awareness week; and a hip hop workshop with ECLS Professor James Ford, which gave students tips on how to write their own hip hop verses. I can safely say that Spoken Word Club has been one of the most important aspects of my Occidental experience thus far and I highly recommend anyone interested in the art form—whether as a spectator or a performer—to check it out.

Check out the Facebook page! https://www.facebook.com/oxyspokenword

That's all for now! I hope I piqued your interest with one or more of the items I've showcased. If you have any further questions, feel free to email me at jchilds@oxy.edu.

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