The Power of the Pen

Mattie Bruton

I’ve always had an enamoration with the written word. Ever since I was five years old and constructed my first book out of construction paper and string (about a hungry brontosaurus. A masterpiece of modern prose.) I have loved the idea of using words to create something totally new, vivid, and unique. So when I began my college search, one of the top things on my list was a place where I would have the chance to write, and develop my writing.

Luckily, Transylvania is a school of writers. Now, this doesn’t mean you have to be the Shakespeare of our generation to get in, and it certainly doesn’t  mean that all students are pursuing writing-based careers. What it does mean is this- Transylvania has an atmosphere which fosters creativity and effectiveness of the written word, for every student. Transylvania seeks to produce students who are skilled in writing, and able to express their ideas clearly and boldly, a valuable skill no matter what your plans for the future may hold.

Not only do all Transy classes encourage students to become better writers and explore ideas through writing, we even have our very own major dedicated to art of the written word. The Writing, Rhetoric, and Communications program is a relatively new but thriving major, which trains its students to both analyze the messages of media in our lives, and how to use writing and other forms of communication to successfully persuade and enlighten in today’s fast paced world. For students who want a chance to practice these skills beyond the classroom, opportunities abound:  writing articles for The Rambler, proposals to TUSGA, or even blogs for WriteOnBroadway are all terrific ways to channel the rhetorical muse.

If poetry, spoken word, or short story is more your style, then you’ll be happy to know that Transylvania has a thriving creative writing community. For instance, you’ll have the opportunity to take writing classes under the guidance of Maurice Manning, Pulitzer (that’s right, Pulitzer) nominated poet and Transy professor. Just this year, Manning and a group of enterprising students  teamed up to revive Transylvania’s literary magazine, The Transylvanian. The Transylvanian accepts submissions in a wide variety of writing and art forms. Its first issue will be coming out this spring, and I for one am all kinds of excited to see what the talented minds of my fellow students have produced. And Transylvania’s creative writing community isn’t just contained within the margins of a page. Just last Saturday, the staff off the The Transylvanian hosted the campus’ very first Open Mic Night event, where brave students were invited to take to the stage to share their written work with all.

While I may never again reach the level of literary depth and perfection which I attained with my kindergarten magnum opus, Bronto Fun, I embrace every one of the manifold opportunities that Transylvania gives me to improve as a writer, and write in new and creative ways. If wordsmithery makes you giddy, Transylvania is certainly the place for you.

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