Students receive creative advice


Submitted by Justin Spencer

The Starr’s Mill creative writing classes took a trip to Reinhardt University last weekend. Professors from the college worked with students to advise them in improving their writing.

Caylee Cicero, Staff Writer

Last Saturday, the Starr’s Mill creative writing classes traveled to Reinhardt University to gain advice from experts in the writing field. The trip was put together after senior Madison Martin met Reinhardt University’s MFA Director Bob Walsh at the Decatur Book Festival and discussed the possibility of a writing workshop for Starr’s Mill.

Submitted by Justin Spencer
At Reinhardt University, students evaluate each others’ papers with the help of the professors. This constructive criticism with professional authors gave students a perspective on their work.

“After visiting Reinhardt University, I decided to check out their tent at a local book fair and talk to them. That’s where I met Walsh and the topic of creative writing came up in our conversation regarding my writing experience,” Martin said. “I told him how the creative writing program had been trying to do an in-house field trip with an author to work with us and do a workshop. He said that Reinhardt did workshops and I got really excited about the idea.”

Following the fair, Martin emailed Walsh to further talk about the possibility. She then put creative writing teachers Jillian Bowen and Justin Spencer in contact with Walsh so they could discuss putting together a custom workshop for the Mill. After an agonizing search for an available date, everything fell into place and the trip became a reality. This trip marks the first time Reinhardt has offered a workshop to high school students.

Students agreed the most helpful part of the workshop was getting critiques from actual authors who have had much success in the field. Students brought their own works with them to be critiqued by a group of professionals and fellow classmate. Each member of the group would present positives and negatives of the writing piece. This gave students a new perspective on their paper.

“There are certain things that Spencer and I can tell them in class, but hearing feedback from someone who has been published and teaches writing on a regular basis as well as other students who are trying to get published themselves has a certain authenticity,” Bowen said.  “Hearing feedback from another author instead of just your teacher made it very important to the students”

Bowen proclaimed she thought the trip was a great opportunity for the students. She hopes to travel with the creative writing students to Reinhardt again next year if the pricing of the workshop can be worked out with the university.