Celebrating creative writers

English department hosts event for writers to read, share work


Maria Coronado

This semester the SCCC English department is hosting a Celebration of Creative Writing night. It expands on the annual poetry coffee house by adding other types of writing to the event. It will be tonight at 7 p.m. in the band room.

Looking for something positive to do during COVID stay-at-home and precautions, Pat Mann took Seward County Community College’s creative writing course as a way to do something “fun” during the pandemic.

Mann has always had a passion for writing, since she was a previous Crusader News Reporter in the ‘80’s. Her writing involves doing work for Bible lessons and skits.

Mann’s work will be highlighted at tonight’s Celebration of Creative Writing. The Celebration will be held at 7 p.m. tonight in the SCCC Music Room and Theater in the Humanities Building. 

Her most recent piece of writing is called “A Hole In My Heart.” It is a fictional story about a man who finds out he is adopted at 50 years old. 

Pullquote Photo

…it is a great way to express yourself.

— Jose Tafoya

She was inspired to write this piece by her own family member, Rodney. He was an adopted child and when he grew up he went on a search to find his biological family. Mann claims her story includes a “roller coaster” of emotions. 

Writing is very important to Mann as it has a connection to her faith. She has published books like the “Teacher Friendly Bible Lessons on Short Notice” a book about bible lessons that are teacher friendly. 

“Anyone can teach it even if they are not experienced,” Mann said. 

Mann wrote a second book called “100 Life Changing Devotions.” A book that includes some lessons previously mentioned in her other book. 

Writing is also important to Pre-Vet major Jose Tafoya. He believes that writing allows others to enter their thoughts on paper “it is a great way to express yourself.”

Tafoya began writing when he was in high school. One of his biggest motivators was his english Teacher “Mrs. Kohart.” She allowed for Tafoya to think critically and reflect on his writing.

After high school Tafoya continued to have an interest in writing. When he began to attend college he came across a Telioth book, he thought it was something of his interest. After asking around he got into contact with SCCC English instructor Lori Muntz.

Now his poetry will be displayed at the SCCC Creative Writing Celebration. An event made to support student writing and to celebrate their creativity. 

The poem Tafoya will read at the event is titled “ Bad Memories.”

Other poems like this one will be shared at the Celebration of Creative Writing event tonight at 7 p.m. in the band room.

His poem is about bad memories and what it feels to constantly live with them. He hopes that his audience will take away from his writing that “they are not alone.” 

Mann and Tafoya, along with 13 other people will be speaking at the Celebration of Creative Writing. Poetry stories will be shared by poetry contest winners and contributors to the Telioth, the SCCC annual literary arts journal.  

Previously the event was called poetry coffee house, however, this year there will be no coffee and not just poetry, according to Muntz.

“The Celebration of Creative Writing is a way to continue the annual support for poetry and build on it to honor the creativity of all the students who love creative writing,” Muntz said. 

Since students are typically involved in more than just one type of creative writing, the event allows for more students to share their writing and to shine, “which we instructors love” stated Muntz. 

The event will take place in the Music Room to a small audience; overflow audience will be seated in the Fine Arts Theater and able to watch on screen. Free tickets are required to attend in person and must be obtained in advance of the event; contact Terri Barnes at [email protected] or 620.417.1451 for tickets.

The event will also be live streamed through the SCCC Humanities Facebook Page.