Writing is something everyone at BYU-Idaho has to do at some point. It can either be fun or a pain. Fortunately, there are many resources here on campus to help students improve their writing skills and become better writers.
One of these resources is a free writer’s workshop. It is held every Tuesday and Wednesday from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on campus in Smith 340. Every Saturday, there is a social for the workshop at the Joseph Fielding Smith Building lobby at 1 p.m.
Student advisors Parker Yancey, a sophomore English education major, and Alloria Bottorff, a junior studying theatre tech and design, conduct the workshop. There, students share their work with the advisors, who are expert writers, and be given ideas on how to improve their work and write better. There are many who come.
“Even teachers have come to the workshop to improve writing skills,” Yancey said.
Those who attend the workshop can put their names on a list called the “Share/Care” board. This is list on the white board, accompanied by a hand drawn Care Bear, for writers wanting to read their story in front of class. After reading their story, the audience gives the author ideas on how to improve. The suggestions can be grammatical at times, but the primary focus is on the content and characters in the story.
The workshop also gives authors the opportunity to meet people and make new friends.
“Those who attend are already writing things but want to become better at it and improve,” Bottroff said. “Something else they also want to do is meet other people who are into writing. The students can make new friends who they can discuss their projects and get helpful pointers from. A very important part of writing is those who do it need encouragement to keep at it.”
While attending, students support each other with a goal of keeping the writer motivated to edit.
“Everyone needs to help each other. Tearing others down isn’t as helpful as having a Christ-like attitude,” Bottorff said. “This is a great and positive way of helping the writers want to keep going. They need to care enough about each other and take the extra effort to read all that they write. This is something the advisors hope for in the writers.”