Literary Open Mic Night gives all majors a creative platform


Contributed by English Department

The English Department hopes to create a sense of community through events like Literary Open Mic Night.

Joslyn Buckley, Reporter

California Lutheran University’s English Department is hosting a virtual Literary Open Mic Night at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 13 to give students of all majors a place to share their written work.

I think it’ll be a great opportunity for students to share sort of like what they’ve been working on this semester which will be really interesting because it’s been such a crazy semester,” Sarah Sherwood, senior and English Department assistant, said in a Zoom interview.

According to the event page, students are welcome to share their poetry, prose and short stories as long as their piece is under five minutes and is “school-appropriate.”

We’re very excited to be putting on events because we didn’t get to for the first half of the semester,” Riley Civerolo Douglas, Cal Lutheran junior and English Department assistant, said in a Zoom interview.

Sherwood said this semester has made communication between department assistants and students harder, so this event is a chance for students to get together.

Events like the Open Mic help foster a sense of openness among a community, especially when you’re sharing something as personal as your own writing,” Nyle De Leon, Cal Lutheran senior and English Department assistant, said in an email interview.

Sherwood said the goal of the event is to help bring people together, as art can help people get through these uncertain times by giving them a chance to explore their creative sides.

“Unless you’re specifically within the writing field and even English majors… don’t always get to share their work… [Literary Open Mic Night is] an opportunity for anybody of any major to show work that they’re proud of… to have this fun in a creative and judgement-free zone,” Civerolo Douglas said.

The event is also an opportunity to see another side of people and build community. For example, when you see one of your previous classmates from biology sharing a poem, you get to support them, Civerolo Douglas said.

As a creative writer myself, I know how personal these writings can be, and so I applaud those who are generous enough to share their work because that takes a lot of guts,” De Leon said.

De Leon also said she is excited to hear what others have to share.

This is not the only event in which the English Department is participating this semester; they are partnering with Simi Valley Public Library’s National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and joining their events.

According to the event page, “NaNoWriMo is an annual internet-based creative writing project that takes place during the month of November. Participants attempt to write a 50,000-word manuscript between November 1 and November 30.”

The seniors of the English Department will also be hosting a Q & A night for underclassmen on Nov. 20 at 7 p.m., “a ‘what we wish we knew back in the day,’” Sherwood said.

Senior English majors will be answering questions for other English majors and minors about what classes they recommend and other information they believe can help their peers, Sherwood said.

“The English department is always looking for opportunities to build a sense of community on campus,” De Leon said.

The Zoom link for the Literary Open Mic event is posted on The Hub along with the passcode to join. Students who wish to share their work will send a chat to the host so a lineup order can be created.

“I think it’s going to be good time and it’s going to be fun to get to support each other ’cause I think that we all need a little bit of that in general but I think it’s nice to feel heard and supported in your artistic endeavors as well so that you’re not just writing into the void,” Civerolo Douglas said.