For some people, publishing a book is a lifetime goal or a bucket list item, but there are others like Kyra Walker, a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences, who think “Why wait?”
Walker has been working on her novella for the past year and she hopes to publish it by the time she graduates in 2024. She tells the story of a vampire romance where complications arise and the protagonist must save her blood-sucking lover through messages she receives in her dreams.
“It’s a work in progress, so I’m still trying to figure all that out as I continue writing it,” Walker said. “But from the original book I was writing at first, and as I was toying around with the characters, I thought this was kind of interesting and I’ve never read a book like this.”
Over time the plot and messages of the book have changed, whether that be from Walker’s own ideas or suggestions she’s received. Walker is vice president of the Marquette Writing Society, which has helped her overcome obstacles in her writing career.
“It’s definitely helped with writer’s block because I tend to stick with romance, but the writing society has helped me expand my genres, so there’s some days I’m writing fantasy or mystery or horror,” Walker said.
The Writing Society features members from first-years to graduate students who meet once a week to work on their writing skills by doing free writes, following prompts and participating in activities. They also share and criticize each other’s work to help each other improve.
“The idea is to get some time in the week to creatively write since it’s really hard to find that time in between classes and all the other stuff we have going on,” Molly Glowacki, a senior in the College of Health Sciences and president of the Writing Society, said.
While there are students who want to publish, the group also offers other options to their members.
“There’s the Marquette Literary Review and I know a lot of our members submit to that,” Glowacki said. “We usually try to promote that because I think a lot of people are hesitant to submit their work, and it’s one of the things we try to encourage since it’s a Marquette organization.”
The Marquette Literary Review is the university’s annual creative writing journal, featuring submissions from the Marquette community. From poetry to short stories the review seeks to showcase all forms of creative writing.
“Even people who don’t consider themselves creative — you still make art, even if you don’t know it,” Jenna Koch, a sophomore in the College of Education and editor for the review, said. “You may write ppersonal essays in classes, notes app poetry, or take photos on vacation, all of it is art that should be shared with the collective.”
Walker isn’t the only member writing a longer piece of work.
“I have a novel that I’ve been working on for a long time and so this club helps me keep up with that amongst all of the other things going on with school,” Glowacki said. Glowacki’s novel details the adventures of her band of heroes who fight off demons and other supernatural forces.
For some students, writing is a skill that takes practice, and getting published is the ultimate goal.
“Write a novel, get one published and see it on shelves in Target or Barnes & Noble,” Walker said. “That’s definitely the dream right there.”
However, Walker and Glowacki wouldn’t have gotten as far as they have without motivation from their supporters. Whether it be professors, family or friends, both writers have received advice that they are sharing with other aspiring authors.
“No matter how hard it seems, no matter how long it takes, don’t give up because at some point you’ll get there. I’ve been writing for seven years, and I haven’t finished a full length novel yet, and I want to get there but I know it’s going to take time, so just don’t give up if you want to do it, Walker said.
Glowacki’s years in the organization have left her with helpful tips for the rest of her life.
“The biggest writing tip I have, especially for writers who are students right now, is to keep going with it because it’s easy to lose track of it and lose inspiration by getting so focused on classes and stress. I think that writing is a great way to feel less stressed and take a mental break from everything,” Glowacki said.
With this advice and support, the writers are working toward their dreams of publishing. Be on the lookout for Marquette students in the local Barnes & Noble within the next few years. To learn more about the Marquette Writing Society, you can follow them on Instagram at @mu_writingsociety.
This story was written by Izzy Fonfara Drewell. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.