Using University Writing Centers as a Creative Writer

Many writers go to university writing centers for help with academic writing, such as essays and assignments for classes, but what about creative writing? Writing centers, like the Oakland University Writing Center (OUWC), provide an invaluable resource to writers looking to improve their ability and their papers; however, many writers may not consider that the writing center can be a resource for creative writers too. After talking to both tutors at the OUWC and creative writers at Oakland University (OU), it seems that many people do not fully understand what a writing center is all about, especially creative writers.

OU Writing Center Creative Writers Flier

The OUWC says that some creative writers do make appointments to discuss their creative projects, such as works of fiction, poetry, screenwriting, and creative non-fiction, but OUWC acknowledges that only a portion of creative writers at OU visit the writing center. Because of this, the OUWC has made an effort to promote their services to the creative writers at OU, as you can see in the flyer shown to the right.

Many writers assume that they should go to the writing center for help with academic writing or assignments, but not for help with creative writing. Creative writers know how important getting feedback is, but they don’t recognize creative writing as something they should seek out a writing tutor for. I asked a student what she would most be interested in gaining from an appointment at the writing center if she were to go to discuss her creative writing projects, and she explained that she would be interested in bouncing ideas off of someone and having a fresh set of eyes reading her work to see how it comes across to a reader. She said this without realizing that those are services that the writing center currently offers.

If you’re a creative writer and you haven’t considered using your university’s writing center as a resource to improve your craft, do so now! Writing centers are a welcoming, invaluable, and usually free resource that undergraduate writers can take advantage of.

Reasons to visit your writing center as a creative writer:

  • To have an audience before finishing and sharing your work in a public way. Writing center consultants can help give you a sense of audience in a safe environment.
  • Maybe you’re not sure where to start with revising your draft. Visit your writing center to get help forming a plan so you can feel more confident tackling the editing process.
  • Feeling stuck or like you have writer’s block? You can talk to a writing center consultant to discuss and brainstorm new ideas.

Keep in mind that the writing center and its consultants are there to help clients with all kinds of writing projects at all stages of the writing process, and be sure to make use of this important resource available to you.

– Jessica Trudeau

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