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Saturday December 15th 2018

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FiWD’s History on Campus, Upcoming 30th Anniversary

by Maggie Ganley– Friday is Writing Day (FIWD) will be celebrating its 30th anniversary on campus this fall. Its existence came about as the result of an experiment and its presence on campus has been valued by faculty and students ever since.

FIWD started out as an experiment by Dr. Marty Knepper and three other people involved in the Writing Across the Curriculum program in 1988.

Dr. Knepper said, “We were looking for a way to spotlight writing on campus—to celebrate all kinds of writing done by faculty and students, in classes and individually, and by alums and community members.”

The group started out meeting a few Fridays throughout the semester, but soon they were meeting on a more regular basis. These events are now held almost every Friday.

FIWD has featured fiction, poetry, research papers, May Term journals, sermons, and much, much more over the years from a variety of creators.

There’s also occasional visits from screenplay writers, journalists, and other famous writers.

Rachael Arnts, one of the student committee members for FIWD, believes these events benefit both students and faculty across all areas of study.

“I always learn something new when I go, and it’s not always related to writing. The people who share their works also benefit because they can get feedback on their project and learn how to present in front of an audience,” Arnts said.

The people personally involved with FIWD are left with a positive lasting impression about these events and what they can do.

Kristen Brown, another student committee member, said, “I really enjoy being involved in my department. Helping out feels great and Friday is Writing Day is a fun way to bring people briefly together on Friday afternoons.”

Knepper still feels strongly about the event’e value. “The sessions have made us laugh and cry and think and reflect. We have learned the joys and challenges of all different kinds of writing,” she said.

Looking ahead to this fall and the future of FIWD, Marcie Ponder, the administrative assistant in the English department and a FIWD committee member, said, “Next fall will be the 30th anniversary for FIWD and I’m sure there will be discussions about how we can celebrate and grow our presence on campus.”