Unlikely Place for a Growing Writers Community

Story by Edward Oelcher, Staff Reporter

Photos and Photo illustration and cutlines by Heather Hay, Design and Layout

CNM may be an unlikely place for a diverse writer’s community but that is exactly what is happening every week at Main and Montoya campuses, said English instructor Maria DeBlassie Phd.

The group meets every Monday from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Montoya Campus Library and 1:30 to 2:30 in the SRC Room 201A on Main Campus.

According to DeBlassie, it is a place for not only writers, but creative souls and anyone who wants to relax and have fun writing outside the classroom.

The purpose is to bring students, community and faculty together to write; to encourage people of all majors to attend, no writing experience necessary, DeBlassie said.

The meetings allow people to work on what ever they want, she said.

People work on novels, web comics, poetry, blogs, and short stories so it is very open, DeBlassie said.

Students gain a big sense of community and support from attending, she said.

“As writers we don’t have to write in isolation to figure things out,” she said.

The writing group began five years ago on Main Campus with CNM’s full-time English instructor and published award-winning author Rebecca Aronson.

“Generally it’s really a group that focuses on generating new writing and talking about issues of a writer’s life, like publication and stuff we are reading,” Aronson said.

The Main Campus writing group usually begins with someone bringing a piece of writing to discuss, something they found interesting and also a writing prompt open to all genres, Aronson said.

“We are friendly, anyone is welcome, it’s not a class, so you don’t sign up ahead of time, I guess the most important thing is, it is fun, “ she said.

The writing group started for students and faculty to carve time out of busy lives to write, Aronson said.

For some students writing has not always been something they pursued.

CNM student biology laboratory technician Audrey Smith, who is currently pursuing an accounting degree, finds the writing group to be a godsend.

Photo was taken at the Write Club’s Halloween party, when they dressed in costumes.  From left center: Audrey, Nina and Madeline.


Smith attends the writing group to work on a novel, something she does in her spare time outside of biology and studying for accounting she said.

“For someone who has been so right brained for so long first with biology and then with all of this accounting stuff, it is like my left brain is exploding all of sudden,” she said.

The writing class helps with confidence, community, and support.

“We do a lot of creative exercises to get us to think differently about the craft and it leads to a lot of inspiration,” DeBlassie said.

Mia and Daniel are writing a short creative piece based on the scary prompts they were given.
From left: Chris, Brianna and Instructor Maria DeBlassie.

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2 thoughts on “Unlikely Place for a Growing Writers Community”

  1. Such a great thing for people to be able to get together and do something they enjoy. This is written very well. I enjoyed reading the piece. Good job Edward!!!!!

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