Story time: UAA writers read their work

Attendees of the event pose for a group photo. Photo by Carlee Christensen.

The Den had a perfect atmosphere — like a cozy coffeehouse with a homey fireplace accompanied by light background music — for writers from UAA Creative Writing Club to read their work.

That night, the snow could be seen falling through the windows outlined by the industrial architecture. Everyone gathered around to listen and read their stories at what seemed like a writer’s dream retreat.

The event was a collaboration by Understory and the Creative Writing Club. It had many people working behind the scenes to make it happen. Nicole Regan, Taylor Morrison and Taylor Heckart are all co-editors of Understory, and they worked alongside Devin Higgins, the President of the Creative Writing Club.

Heckart said, “We felt that it would be a really good collaboration with the Creative Writing Club since they’re wonderful folks who output a lot of writing, and we love publishing writing.”

This event had good opportunities for both of the organizations involved. Writers of the Creative Writing Club have the options to submit their work to be published in Understory. 

Anyone across UAA can submit as long as you’re taking six credits. The Understory editors will go through and select pieces of students’ work to be published in the spring, Heckart said. This year’s deadline is December 17th and they are accepting a wide variety of genres. Additional information can be found on the Understory UAA page

In the collaboration, Creative Writing Club was able to enjoy a more public presence. Higgins said, “I definitely loved having this group. As a Creative Writing Club, we haven’t usually been able to do events like this. We kind of just keep to ourselves, but I did really like to have this opportunity to collaborate with another club and have a slightly more public presence.”

Higgins participated in the event by reading their own piece. Their favorite line was the ending, “The final hope that I speak of is you.” It packs a punch and wraps everything up, Higgins says. Indeed, the last sentence seemed to leave a powerful impression.

All of the readers were talented writers and they brought something special to this event.

Understory is hoping to host more events:  One during winter break and then one during spring break right before their publication in 2023, but nothing is confirmed yet. It will be at the same location at a similar time, Regan said.

If any club is interested in working with Understory, they can email understorysubmissions@gmail.com. Individuals who are interested in being an editor or part of the team in the future can reach out to Ronald Spatz.