West Side News

Student magazine hosts event for local authors

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The students who participate in SLAM (student literary arts magazine) at Grove City High School usually offer each other support and guidance on their writing efforts.

On March 13, the students got some additional help.

SLAM hosted a Central Ohio Author Night and heard presentations by nine published local writers.

The authors also answered students' questions and held a book sale and autograph session following the event.

"It was a chance for them to hear about writing careers and what inspires creativity from people who have actually been published," said Randi Flynn, an English teacher at the high school and SLAM adviser.

SLAM is an extracurricular activity that meets every Thursday.

"It's open to any student," Flynn said. "Students submit items anonymously and then we review them. We only talk about the positives. No one's allowed to say anything really negative about anybody's writing."

"We're all there to support each other," said SLAM Editor Maya Gosztyla, a senior.

"I hope they gain confidence, not only in their writing, but to pursue the dreams they have," Flynn said.

"I really like being part of SLAM," Gosztyla said. "I feel that I've grown as a writer over the last four years. I look at some of the things I wrote as a freshman, and I can see that my technique has improved so much."

Much of that improvement has come from the input and suggestions her classmates make at the weekly sessions, she said.

"This is a chance for students to explore their creativity without the restrictions their teachers give them in a class assignment," Flynn said. "As a teacher, it's exciting for me to see students writing for themselves, not because they have to for a class."

SLAM will publish its annual collection of student work the first week of May.

"It originally started as a poetry magazine, but now we include all forms of writing -- stories, essays and poems -- as well as photography and art," Flynn said. "It's the best of the best of the writing students have submitted over the year."

The annual edition costs $10 and will be available for purchase in the school office.

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