Amy Hansen is the assistant director of the Appalachian State University Writing Center and a recent graduate of the MFA program in creative writing at Northern Michigan University. She’s joining the CWCAB blog team as a staff writer–and has a great first project!
For my first project at CWCAB, I’d like to solicit and share the creative writing of writing center tutors and administrators here on the blog. I’d love to read poetry and short non-fiction/fiction pieces about writing center work, but I’m just as interested in creative work that’s more abstractly inspired by the practice and pedagogy of tutoring writing. Maybe you have a poem inspired by an interaction with a student in the writing center. Maybe you wrote a reflective profile of yourself as a tutor. Maybe (fingers crossed!) you composed the first writing center rock opera. Whatever it is, however you got there from writing center studies, we want to read it.
I began writing poetry and working in a writing center at the almost the same time as an undergraduate student and peer writing tutor at North Central College. Eight years, two English degrees, a bunch of Midwestern poems, and four writing centers later, I struggle to imagine doing one with without the other.
As a writing center assistant director, I consider it a huge privilege to be surrounded by writers and their writing. It’s inspiring to see the hard work up close, to hear the rough draft read aloud, and then to watch the writer and the consultant smooth it into something new. When I was primarily teaching, I didn’t always see my students’ composing processes. I saw the drafts and the “finished” product, but less of the blood-and-guts, behind-the-scenes work that writing centers so often facilitate, and my writing suffered because of it. In the writing center, I’m seated alongside brave writers and consultants all day as they work their way through challenging essay prompts, difficult cover letters, complicated formatting requirements — and that motivates me to return to my own half-planned drafts, to do the hard work to improve my writing. I’m excited to see how writing center work factors into your creative writing, too.
Please submit by April 1st, for consideration for our first online creative writing feature! Click here for submission guidelines.
If you have questions, please feel free to email me.