Words of Wisdom
Managing the anxiety of composition is an essential part of writing. One must master the process of shepherding the private into public. There are bound to be false starts, excursions that turn out to be dead ends.
The Black Box Writer Residency, created by the University Writing Center and supported by the Department of English & Department of Residence Life at Texas A&M University, offers undergraduates the unique opportunity to work on creative writing projects and enhance performance abilities. Our six-week program is the first of its kind to be offered at the undergraduate level in the U.S. This Residency acknowledges the written word and recognizes the importance of drawing in an audience through performance by making characters come alive through voice, gesture, tone, and emphasis.
Eight students (four fiction writers and four poets, respectively) meet each week in the Hullabaloo Hall
black box space to workshop their short stories and poetry with established creative writing faculty and visiting writers.
After revising, students are mentored by faculty who teach performance strategies to enhance students’ onstage readings for diverse audiences. The final class is a performance that showcases works-in-progress and celebrates newly acquired performance skills.
The Black Box Writer Residency offers our students the opportunity to connect their academic and creative enterprises over a six-week period during the semester. It is open to all currently enrolled undergraduate students at Texas A&M University, regardless of discipline; participants are selected through an application process. Admitted students will be afforded opportunities in writing and speaking, as well as develop skills that are transferable to other professional venues. These opportunities and skills include enhanced public speaking and performance abilities, the development of an undergraduate writing community, the opportunity to present in a public forum, and concentrated time to polish a creative writing piece in either poetry or fiction.
- To further sculpt a short story or poem for performance and eventual publication in a print or online literary journal
- To deepen participants’ understanding of craft skills in poetry or prose
- To work with an established faculty member and visiting writer in a small-group environment and through individual consultations to strengthen creative writing skills and projects
- To practice performance skills in consultation with an established faculty member
- To perform a polished rendition of fiction and poetry for a public audience at a location to be determined.