Students launch online writing community

Members of the Literary Citizenship class.  (Ryan Deffenbaugh | The Oswegonian)
Members of the Literary Citizenship class. (Ryan Deffenbaugh | The Oswegonian)

A newly-launched website is hoping to create a home for students studying creative writing, cinema and screen studies and journalism.

The website, titled “The Hub,” was launched as part of a creative writing class called Literary Citizenship, taught by creative writing professor Donna Steiner.

“We wanted to create a place to celebrate the successes of people in our program and also promote places like the River’s End Bookstore and different literary events in the community,” Marian Holmes, a senior taking the class and the site’s architect, said.

The website is broken into subpages such as “Acquaint,” which explains the site’s purpose, “Discover,” which features courses and advice for students, and “Publish,” which has a list of outlets on campus and in the community that publish creative writing.

Holmes said she is particularly excited about the “Critique” section, which allows students to post their works across various genres of creative writing to be critiqued by peers on the site. The page operates like a forum, allowing students to publish their work and comment on the work of others. The idea is for the forum to run as a give-and-take, Holmes said.

“Students can put up their own work, but it only works if you’re helping someone to critique their work as well,” Holmes said. “Which is the idea of being a ‘literary citizen.’”

As with any open forum system, there is concern for the cruelty that can come with anonymity, but Holmes said the forum will be monitored.

The website also features a blog, which is on the homepage and carries book reviews, features on student’s blogs and updates on events. To keep track of events, the website will maintain an updated calendar.

“We want people to understand that there is a lot going on around here for people to go to,” Holmes said. “And being involved in those kind of things continually increases your education outside the classroom.”

A screenshot of ‘The Hub’ webpage.
A screenshot of ‘The Hub’ webpage.

Members of the literary citizenship class have been dropping in to creative writing courses to promote the site, and Holmes said the reaction from students has been positive.

“We’ve had people jumping at it,” Holmes said, noting the site reached 1,000 hits the first day the class began promoting it on the page’s Twitter and Facebook accounts.

The page is currently run by members of the 16 student class, but 13 of the students are seniors, so Holmes said the class is discussing ways to keep the page running. Options such as students working at the site for internship credit or independent study are on the table.

In the meantime, the students involved in the class are also using The Hub to plan events of their own, including a cash mob at The River’s End Bookstore Thursday, April 24 at 5:30 p.m. The plan is to have creative writing students and anyone else interested make purchases, to support the store all at one time.

More information can be found by visiting the site at or through following on Twitter @TheOzHub.

One thought on “Students launch online writing community

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *