English students attend NIMROD conference

By Katie Smith, A&E Editor

Several students attended a conference for readers and writers over the weekend. The conference, Nimrod, was open to English majors to go and learn about storytelling from published and experienced authors.

Nimrod is a journal that publishes high quality poetry, short fiction and creative nonfiction. It hosts events where the public sends in pieces  to be judged by selected educators.

Dr. Susan Crane-Laracuente, who has been to eight of these conferences, arranged the trip down to the University of Tulsa.

At the conference, students had the opportunity to take classes and partake in activities and a variety of events.

Sophomore Matthew Clark said he went to two master classes titled “Timely vs. Timeless” and “Then the Weather went Bad.” “Timely vs. Timeless,” Clark said, discussed whether authors should write about current issues and whether or not they should worry if they would be relevant in the future. “Then the Weather went Bad” was focused on how to begin a story, he said. Clark said that the classes were taught by educators and award winners.

Attendees said it was exciting to be surrounded by like minded individuals for the weekend.

“Nimrod has a really neat environment because being surrounded by writers and whether they are poets or authors. It's very encouraging to see all the artists… in one space. It’s a very warm atmosphere,” Clark said. “I genuinely feel like a better storyteller each time I go to Nimrod. After being with such incredible minds, you come home with a better understanding of storytelling.”

Clark expressed his concern for the future of writing in general.

“It can be scary thinking about the future as a writer and how our society is evolving but seeing so many people who are passionate about the arts, especially literature, is not only encouraging, but it makes me sure of the fact that writing and language will always be important to humanity,” Clark said.

Junior Murphy Obershaw, who attended the conference for her second year in a row, said that while the overall conference was a blast, she enjoys the ride home from Tulsa better.

“My favorite Nimrod tradition is reading children’s books to everyone in the van during our drive back to Wichita. This tradition started last year because I bought a cool children’s book in Tulsa and just had to share it with everyone,” she said. “Because everyone loved it so much, it has become a tradition.”

Clark, who has attended the Nimrod conference twice, said that he will always appreciate getting to be around other writers.

“My favorite part about Nimrod was simply being reinvigorated with the passion for writing. The spirit of literature persisted in me to the extent I felt so good after Nimrod that I wrote a five page poem after the following day,” he said.

PHOTO: Courtesy Photo, Susan Crane-Laracuente