Delaware Valley University’s Student Writing Conference
Posted on November 26, 2018 by Caitlin O’Brien '19, a Delaware Valley University counseling psychology major.
On Nov. 14, 2018, students of all majors came together to present their writing. The conference was brought together by many staff members from the English, counseling psychology, and plant science departments in collaboration with the library. There were many different panels regarding various styles of writing, including science writing, personal essays, analytical/research essays, and poetry and short stories. While I couldn’t attend all of the sessions, I was able to attend two of the panels.
The first panel I observed regarded personal essays. Tables were set up in a large rectangle, allowing everyone to watch and listen to each other. Each student read aloud their paper and received feedback at the end. The essays covered a variety of topics: the fragility of life, lessons learned, the concept of change, and events that affected lives. Listening to these essays was a roller coaster for me. I would feel intrigued one moment, then worried the next. Laughter from a joke that was made shifted to a moment of shock. These essays truly expressed a wild range of emotions that highlighted the way we live life.
The second panel I went to regarded poetry and short stories. Being an avid fan of poetry and writing stories, I was most interested to listen in on this panel. Friendships, relationships, and family were some of the themes behind the pieces. Each piece was read with a unique tone of voice and rhythm, all spoken with passion. It allowed me to escape reality for a moment or two until the crowd began to clap and snap me back into the present. Throughout the panel, we looked into different writing techniques, including the use of verbs, imagery, and character development.
At the end of the day, all of the pieces involved one thing: reflection. Writers looked deep into moments of their lives and how these moments impacted their present selves. No matter the emotion, these feelings were brought to life in creative ways and shared in a safe environment. There was no judgment or negative feedback. As a matter of fact, all of the feedback was positive. It was a great night, filled with many members of the school coming together to share and admire the written word.
About the Author
Caitlin O’Brien ’19 is a Delaware Valley University counseling psychology major and English minor. She is a current member of the co-ed fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega. She is also a writing tutor at the University's Writing Center.