Every Monday at eight o’clock, peculiar things unfold and an array of stories are told, passing from ear to ear around the tables of the guild’s Harold Wilson room, worming their way off the pages of notebooks that belong to the colourful characters and comedians of the wonderfully weird Creative Writing Society. On each of these nights, two prompts are given to spark our imaginations, or at the very least, bore us to such a degree that we are inspired to write something entirely unrelated…
There is a lot to be done with twenty-five minutes- this is something you learn once you are encouraged to embrace spontaneous scrawls rather than the usual crumpling them and tossing them into a waste paper basket when ideas become a bit fuzzy and things start to sound a little odd. And over a series of weeks, any circulated scrawls or gags that got a laugh, are gathered up and selectively compiled into the society’s yearly anthology, along with any other pieces that people have worked on in their spare time. This year’s anthology boasts a diverse collection of literature, ranging from delicate descriptions of winter vignettes to epic battles between cosmic rivals.
A cut from a piece called ‘Winter’ by Aerospace Engineer Ben Quinn exhibits some of the most beautiful imagery that this collection of original works has to offer, and indeed the talent of it’s authors: ‘All that moves has long since fled the frost, a dull memory held in their passing. The slight imprints of paws, a grasp of winter fur, and the old horns of a stag, discarded to lie buried in the cold. Brown coated under white on a pale blue night’.
Another stunning entry, ‘The Duel’, by writer Jordan Casstles, records a battle between two comic book-like rivals Atlas and Mara, in a barren but enchanting universe: ‘There was no fire here, only sweet incense and the scent of the ocean. His eyes slowly opened to reveal an opulent palace adorned with jewels and crystals, the walls shimmering with every colour under the sun. He was laid out upon a lavish bed, and he could feel soft silk beneath his body as two great doors opened to reveal bright light and a silhouette’.
As a member of the Creative Writing Society, the anthologies that this group churn out year upon year do not just represent something to the writer’s themselves, though there is something exciting about seeing your name printed alongside a piece of your work in a properly bound and published book. These collections represent the talents of people who you may walk past everyday or not know the name of. Amongst the gang there are budding authors, some who have already started to wade their way into the world of literature and various art forms, and others who just enjoy putting pen to paper and exercising a hobby. But what every one us has in common is our ability to produce something quirky and unique- things that offer a nice, close to home alternative to what you can find at Waterstones.
So, if you get a chance to read some of the mad ramblings of a group of humble writers, then try it out! The 2016 anthology will be published shortly and information about the society can be found on the Facebook page- University of Liverpool Creative Writing Society.