The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus


The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus


The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus


Penumba Writing Workshop Brings New Light to the Spring Semester


Andrea Wagner, a writing tutor and a graduate student in literature and RTW! She manages social media and marketing for Penumbra (photo curtsey Andrea Wagner) 

Through the cathartic practice of writing, students at CSU Stanislaus can embrace uniqueness, creativity, and perspective.
Penumbra, Stan State’s literary journal, is hosting its first-ever in-person writing workshop throughout March and April. These workshops will provide a collaborative setting where students can write as themselves without feeling self-conscious. 
Andrea Wagner (graduate, Literature) explained, “When you open up, it can help you realize that what you have to offer is really good,” she said. “It can help you feel more empowered.”
She continues by explaining that there’s this misconception that writers are just these brilliant people who write alone, unflawed, spitting out the most amazing novel. She emphasizes that these workshops really demystify the writing process and make it less scary. 
Autumn Anderson (graduate, Literature) shares that the hardest part is taking that first step in sharing your writing. She added that these workshops are formulated to be safe.
“You’re around people where this might also be their first time sharing,” she said. “This will give you the space to take that step without feeling like you’re jumping off in the deep end. You tip toe in. You can share as much or as little.”
Essence Saunders (graduate, Literature) mentions, “It will give you a background of things along with introducing you to new aspects.” 
Wagner added, “It’s very different from a professor/student relationship because we’re all in this together,” she said. “There isn’t a power dynamic. This is a peer setting.”

To better understand and explore in curiosity, these in person workshops are meant to be a new experience compared to the workshops previously hosted online. 

“The fact that we can all see each other makes this different and very good,” added Wagner. “It’s a different setting, a more equal and welcoming one.”

Saunders explains that Penumbra plans to do a total of four workshops throughout the months of March and April.

“We’ve been trying to build what we want, and how to go about it,” she said.

Anderson added, “Students don’t have to come in with something completed that needs refining,” she said. “They can come in with an idea. Wherever the student is, we’ll meet them where they’re at.” 

Both workshops will focus on fiction and poetry. Fiction can feel like a longer process because essentially students are trying to create an environment, whereas in poetry, an individual tries to capture a feeling, an essence of some sort. 

“With poetry you’re able to experience with syntax and form,” said Wagner. “You’re able to see what effects those bring. It doesn’t have to be romantic or this certain ideal. It could just be that you want to express yourself.”

Anderson added that nonfiction and poetry are like two different vehicles but it can get you to the same destination.

“If you want to express yourself though poetry, the workshops will help you, and if you want to do it through fiction we can also assist,” she said.

From research papers to narratives, it’s common for students to feel a burn out when writing. These writing workshops give students a chance to play with worlds that aren’t reality based.

The first two fiction workshops will be held March 10 from 2 – 3:30 p.m. in L22, followed by one on March 24. Penumbra will then transition to poetry at the same location and times starting from April 14 to April 28.   

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Penumba Writing Workshop Brings New Light to the Spring Semester