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Shany Raitsin

BA English (3rd year)

Founder of Ryerson Writers Collective

What is the Ryerson Writers Collective?
The Ryerson Writers Collective is a group that uplifts and inspires writers across Ryerson’s campus! We seek to provide writers with a safe space to collaborate with others, to share their work and to write their hearts out. The group was founded in March of 2018 officially, so we’re young, but gaining popularity and notoriety like wildfire.

Why should English students, or any students interested in writing, consider joining?
English students, or any students for that matter, should consider joining because of RWC’s effort to promote inclusivity and our dedication to providing students with valuable writing experiences. We don’t just offer workshops, guest speakers, free VIP events and publishing opportunities, we also offer a strong and accepting community. At our events you’ll find English majors, BM majors, Stem majors, alumni, first years, etc. But you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find that we’re all more alike than different, all bonded by the shared love of writing.

How often do meetups and events take place and where can writers find more info?
Meetups, for now, happen twice a month, Thursday evenings. You can always find out more information on our Instagram @ruwriterscollective, external link or on Facebook ‘Ryerson Writers Collective’, external link. We also send out weekly newsletters! To hop on our newsletter train, just email us at ruwriterscollective@gmail.com.

You're the executive of the Ryerson Writers Collective. Can you tell us more about your role and why you decided to join?
I’m the President of RWC, but before my presidency I was VP of Events for around 8 months, assisting the acting President and my other associates in cultivating an actual writers collective. Before this I was President of the ECU for a brief time, as well as Team Lead in AIESEC Ryerson. I was holding pretty important positions in these student groups; running orientations, planning events, consulting people on trips and sending them abroad to implement sustainable development goals, etc. However I found myself lacking a sense of camaraderie and genuine love for what I was doing. Then, I helped found RWC, and my teammates and I all agreed to put love for writing and respect for each other first. It has been an honour being the President of RWC, and more importantly, it has been an absolute joy.

The past meetups and events consisted of diverse themes and genres, such as You, me, some poetryMother Nature, and a songwriting workshop. How does it benefit the individual writing experience?
That’s a tough question! Mainly because these events offer a variety and a plethora of writing experience. We try to have a focus for each event, in the You, Me, Some Poetry event we focused on how to write poetry. For instance, we came up with an easily digestible equation that novice poets could use in their craft: Emotion + Anchor + Detail = Poem. So an emotion that is anchored to a personal experience/memory that is also paired with a fine detail makes for a great poem. This would be an example of what we do in our workshops, but we also focus a lot on just giving our writers unique prompts and letting them experiment with writing techniques themselves. We don’t strive to simply lecture, we want to encourage writing as a form of learning.

The Ryerson Writer's Collective is putting on an Oscars Homage on March 14th. Can you tell us more about this event?
The Oscars Homage is going to focus on a LOT of themes; including depth of character, realistic dialogue and scene tension! We’re going to explore all of these concepts by screening parts of Academy Award winning films and examining what makes these works of art so captivating! We’re also going to be giving out awards, prizes, free food, free books and more! It’s an event I would definitely recommend attending because a) it’s at 6:30pm in the Ram in the Rye so it’s going to be really fun and b) why not? Like I said, RWC is a very inclusive group so we’re just as accepting of our newcomers as we are of our OG attendees.