Club Spotlight: Chanticleer
Everyone at Edgemont surely knows that the clubs saturate both the school and student schedules. Signing up for twenty clubs during the Club Fair, and showing up to maybe three, if we’re being charitable, is basically a school tradition. But hidden within the noise is Chanticleer, the school’s time-honored creative writing club and literary magazine. Meeting Wednesdays after school in A5, this little bubble of a club is responsible for the magazine with the poems and other short pieces that wind up on everyone’s desks during the spring. In order to provide readers with a sense of the club, I interviewed Presidents/Co-Editors-in-Chief themselves, Avantika Singh and Paulina Campanella. Here’s what they had to say:
So, what exactly is Chanticleer?
“I think most people know Chanticleer as our annual literary magazine. Every June, there are copies of a book with a rooster on the cover, and the Chanticleer title spread mysteriously around the school filled with poems, short stories, and art.
We are also the school's poetry/creative writing club. We meet Wednesdays in Ms. Earle’s room in A5 after school. We do a lot of writing workshops, exercises, and discussions about writing, reading, and more. We are planning on working with some other clubs to do an Open-Mic Night this February so keep an eye out for that; if you're a writer, performer, musician, or any other type of creative person, we’d love to have you sign up. And then towards the second half of the year, we start working on the literary magazine. We put out announcements saying we want submissions of art, any type of creative writing, and we sift through it, and that is how we put out the literary magazine.”
You brought up workshopping, what is it? What does it entail, and why should I workshop?
“We don’t want our workshopping to feel like a scary, professional thing where you have to be a pro-writer to get your work looked at; we look to make the process as comfortable as possible. So, you'll come in with a piece that you want feedback on (any type of creative work). We sit in a circle and read your work. We start off with compliments, like “I like this piece of dialogue” or “This metaphor was nice” or “This piece of criticism was very funny.”
Then, instead of moving on to harsh criticism, we lean towards a process where we ask questions about the work and things we found confusing or did not understand. We never want to say, “This was bad.” We also want to tailor it to what the writer wants. Some writers prefer to stay silent, others like to have more of a conversation, so it really depends on you and what you're looking for in a workshop.”
Let’s say I’m someone who would love to workshop their piece, but I’m afraid that I’m not as good of a writer and I’m a little scared to share my writing. Do you have advice?
“I think that every writer suffers from imposter syndrome. Even writers who you think are successful always hate their first draft. They think it’s horrible, there’s always loads of editing to be done, and that is always true regardless of the writer. I think a lot of times we are our worst critics, and our writing is a lot better than we give it credit for. Even if you think everyone will hate it, there is always going to be at least one part that resonates with a reader at your workshop, especially when one of the great things about workshopping is getting a lot of diverse opinions on a piece. Plus, we are an incredibly supportive group, and we never make anyone feel bad about their writing!”
Though I unfortunately could not get a full interview with Paulina, as she is dealing with the tragic plight of being a first-semester senior, she did have some time for some additional comments.
“Chanticleer is a really fun, casual atmosphere for people who enjoy reading and writing to come together and make friends every Wednesday after school in A5 with Ms. Earle!”
Three Reasons to Join Chanticleer?
If you enjoy reading or writing
If you’re looking for a fun group of people to hang out with on a Wednesday on the cool furniture in Ms. Earle’s room
If you like cookies, Ava Min supplies us with cookies every Wednesday
Join Chanticleer on Wednesdays in A5!