Writer’s Walk

Jenna Heng, Writer

The arrival of autumn means more than just cool weather and Halloween specials running on TV. At West, it also means the occurrence of the highly anticipated event run by Writer’s Workshop students: Writer’s Walk. On October 7, students were released from their English classes to attend for the period. However, Writer’s Workshop students have been preparing for Writer’s Walk for several weeks simply by writing.

“I am preparing for Writer’s Walk by writing down multiple ideas. Eventually, something will stick and that’ll become the piece. It’s really an everyday process and I’ve been prepping since the beginning of the year with my free writes and writing in a journal outside of school,” senior David Reed said.

On the day of Writer’s Walk, several different activities are present so there is something for everyone to enjoy. The poet’s corner features students who will write a poem when given a word, baked treats are for sale, face painters are present, and pumpkins are available to write on. A central event to Writer’s Walk is the poetry reading when Writer’s Workshop students read their writing to their peers.

“Writer’s Walk is just one of the most magical events. It’s a place for diversity, and a place where creative thoughts run rampant. People who never even think about poetry or creative writing in general get exposed to all sorts of writing. It’s an inspiring day that will hopefully encourage people to take Writer’s Workshop, or at least to write,” senior Baylie Barrett said.

“I’m really looking forward to running the poet’s corner and performing several pieces I’ve prepared over the last two months. I’m also looking forward to hearing new poets,” Reed said.

Although Writer’s Workshop is typically a success, complications from weather to writer’s block can arise.

“In the past, the unpredictability of the weather in late October has certainly posed a challenge. There’s always your typical high school drama, but the great thing about Writer’s Walk is that we’re able to come together as a Writer’s Workshop family, put aside our differences and pull off Writer’s Walk year after year without a hitch,” Barrett said.

“One of the most common things is overthinking what you’re going to write about. Most people feel like you have to write something either politically, emotionally, or socially conscious. But that’s not always the case. You can write about anything and as long as you put in the passion and detail it will be great,” Reed said.

For Writer’s Workshop students, Writer’s Walk is just one of their many opportunities to express themselves via creative writing. The class provides other outlets for students to express themselves in writing.

“The free writes are my favorite part. It’s thirty minutes out of the week where you can let your mind run wild like fires in the forest of California. It’s also a time to get feedback from other students on the ideas boggling around in your head and it’s even better when you share yourself because then people get a real good feel for what you’re trying to say,” Reed said.

In addition to Writer’s Walk, Writer’s Workshop students also host an event in the spring called Beatnik. Beatnik features students performing their poetry to an audience composed of their peers.

“Having been called out all day once for Beatnik and once for Writer’s Walk, I would have to say that my favorite of the two would have to be Writer’s Walk, just because there’s so much to be involved in beyond just reading your poetry,” Barrett said.

“I prefer beatnik, it’s a much more personal and intense experience as it’s usually your peers or the upper classmen sitting in the crowd. It’s my favorite because it’s the one that’s most like a poetry slam, sort of like louder than a bomb,” Reed said.