Parkland Library Round Table fosters creativity in student writers

Lewis Mizen

Writers share their thoughts and ideas in an safe and expressive environment.
Writers share their thoughts and ideas at the Round Table at the Parkland Library.

The Round Table, a meeting place for the knights of Camelot in mythology, symbolizes the gathering of ideas and thoughts. The Parkland Library applied this symbol to writing.

The Parkland Library’s Writers Round Table, scheduled every month from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., serves to aid English students in a variety of ways. Whether it be with college essay revisions or story ideas deliberations, the Writers Round Table looks to aid teenagers in any and all writing endeavors.

The first meeting took place on Oct. 18, and, after the initial settling in period, students began to express their ideas on paper. Beginning with a writing warm-up, typically a stream-of-consciousness writing assignment, attendees were given the opportunity to get their thoughts down on paper. Doing so enabled the students to relax and collaborate more freely with the other people at the table.

Library staff member Rhonda Weiss, whose passion for writing stems from her previous jobs as an English and journalism teacher, supervises the meetings. Despite her being the official head of the meeting, her method of treating the members as equals—something emphasized by King Arthur in legend—allows the Round Table to feel less like school and more like an entertaining club.

“I love writing, and part of what made me love being a teacher was sharing that love with students, which is something i aim to do here,” Weiss said.

English Honor Society co-presidents Elijah Abraham and Nikhita Nookala, along with other members, have been pushing for more students to attend, believing that a distinct divide between writing for a class and writing for passion can enable students to rediscover a love for the art. The creative freedom in the meetings creates an environment in which teenagers will not feel judged for their ideas or love of the craft.

“The Round Table meeting is quite the vigorous exercise of the mind and the control of language,” Abraham said. “All members participated in a creative exercise where they shared their work, from stream of consciousness to poems. I look forward to seeing new faces as more people discover this great opportunity of sharing thoughts and ideas.”

Whether a student is an aspiring novelist caught in writer’s block or simply a casual writer who would enjoy to spend time with like minded peers, all are encouraged to attend, with the next meeting being scheduled for Nov. 15.