University Writing Center conducts first ever National Day on Writing event

To celebrate the National Day on Writing, the UW-Eau Claire University Writing Center will host informal tutoring sessions on campus from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 20 in many of the campus buildings.

The tutoring sessions will be one-on-one and will serve as a sort of outreach for the writing center, said Jordan O’Connell, a graduate assistant in the University Writing Center. This is the first time UW-Eau Claire has been involved in National Day on Writing events, O’Connell said. The tutoring sessions will be held in Haas Fine Arts Center, Phillips Hall, Hibbard Hall, Campus Mall, McIntyre Library, Hilltop and the stairway to McPhee Center.

The University Writing Center is also offering extended hours this semester, in response to more students taking advantage of its services, he said. Senior Jacqueline Kress said that around 89 appointments were made in the writing center last week, which she said was a record.

Senior Rebecca Sabelko, a writing assistant in the University Writing Center, said she hopes the National Day on Writing will show students that writing isn’t a solo thing. She said writing should be celebrated.

Kress said she hopes the events will show students that writing is needed across different disciplines and majors.

Traci Thomas-Card, the University Writing Center’s interim coordinator, said in an e-mail that, “People today are writing more than ever before and using both traditional (pen and paper) and non-traditional formats (IMs, blogs, text messages, etc) to do so.”

Being involved in the National Day on Writing shows university support for the University Writing Center’s efforts to engender a wider appreciation of the writing process, she said.

Thomas-Card said this is the first year the National Council of Teachers of English has initiated the National Day on Writing.

The University Writing Center is located in room 1142 of the Old Library. Sabelko said the Writing Center helps students through all steps of the writing process; from brainstorming to final drafts.

O’Connell said the University Writing Center tries to steer away from simply being an editing service.

“We sort of act as an exaggerated audience for writers, so they get that experience of having someone else read their writing and understand then if it’s clear to someone else,” he said.

O’Connell said a gallery of student writing will be showcased in the entrance of McIntyre Library. He said everything from poetry and prose to blogs and Facebook status updates will be accepted.

“We want to feature student writing where they’re actually doing it, not where it’s traditionally been understood to be,” he said.

Sabelko said she hopes the gallery will open people’s eyes to see that writing should almost be a public thing.

“I’m interested to see if people stop and read what’s there,” she said.