In spring 2009, a series of consultations with English Language Learner Services’ ESL Specialist, Kristen Shrewsbury, revolved around the student’s desire to become an excellent writer in English. Kristen invited us individually to meet as a group to work on developing our skills as English writers. We formed a group of 5 student writers plus Kristen. We began to meet once a week for two hours to talk with each other about life at JMU, then write about our experiences. Each writer decided what part of our work to read to the group and what kind of feedback to elicit from the other writers. The group has become a community where we practice writing, talk about writing, and share our experiences.
In fall 2009, we discussed publishing a journal. The community wrote a proposal for an Innovative Diversity Efforts Award to secure funding for a publication. Upon receipt of the IDEA funds, we decided the project would be more sustainable if a blog creation took the place of a print publication. In the spirit of accessibility, a foundational principle in the MWC, a blog would allow those within and without JMU to read current writing, meet MWC writers, and stay in touch with graduated members. The MWC would like to express gratitude to the JMU Office of the Special Assistant to the President for providing the sponsorship to bring our vision to life.
As our writers graduate and new writers seek a community, the Multilingual Writers’ Community continues to provide a space to create. We invite you to join us to discover and cultivate the writer within.