English Department, Writing Center team up for 175 event on Nov. 11

When Drs. Janet Bland and Tim Catalano first heard about the ways Marietta College planned to celebrate its 175th anniversary this academic year, both wondered if there was a way for them to get involved.

Thanks to a special 175 mini-grant program providing individuals and departments on campus with funding for projects chosen from submissions this fall, Bland and Catalano will get to link the English Department and the Writing Center in a unique event.

“Looking Forward—Writing Back” is the first of seven projects funded for the 2009-10 academic year through the mini-grant program to help celebrate Marietta College’s 175th anniversary. It is scheduled for 5 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 11, at The Gathering Place.

“It is our intention that this event would give our current students (both the readers and the audience) some sense of being part of a creative Long Blue Line of writers and readers—a line that not only stretches back in institutional history but will also carry them forward in their own lives,” Bland said. “As they participate in this reading our students will not only place themselves within the ongoing history of Marietta College but also see their individual work as part of a 175 year-old tradition of academic and creative writing.”

Bland said the program will include students reading original works of fiction, poetry, nonfiction and academic essays that will serve as a creative representation of some of the major themes of the College’s 175 celebration—such as history, community, tradition, academic achievement and the future of the institution.

Catalano added that the event also provided an opportunity for him to showcase the history of the College’s Writing Center, which is a co-sponsor.

“The College was at the forefront of the writing center movement—establishing a version of the writing center in 1978-79. Donald Homier, an instructor in the English Department, attended the first writing center conference in 1978 at Youngstown State, and brought this innovative idea back to Marietta College,” Catalano said. “Since that time, our writing center has actively participated in regional and national writing center conferences.  In 2003, we hosted the 25th anniversary conference of the East Central Writing Centers Association. The celebration of the College's 175th anniversary provided an opportunity to do some research on our own writing center and share it with the college community.”

All students are encouraged to submit an entry that is no more than 500 words. There will be prizes for the entries that are singled out by the judges.

If you'd like more information on reading, judging or just listening, contact Dr. Janet Bland at janet.bland@marietta.edu.

“We’re really excited to participate in the 175th Celebration and showcase our students’ creative talent,” Bland said. “We’re also pleased to be doing this in conjunction with the Writing Center, which has been an important part of the ongoing Marietta College experience. We believe this connection underscores the role of the Writing Center in the liberal arts education and emphasizes the many ways today’s students can and do use the Writing Center.”