Ten Beginnings Showcases Wilson Fiction Writers

Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Practice Matthew McBride’s students shared their recent work in an open-mic event called Ten Beginnings on Tuesday, April 2, in Sarah’s Coffeehouse during ArtsFest, an annual event featuring work by Wilson College and Chambersburg community members.

Fiction is like exploring a wide world of imagination. Words and sentences create a story, characters bring it to life and plot twists keep it exciting. McBride’s advanced creative writing fiction students did just that.

The warm classroom environment McBride crafts was apparent during ArtsFest. The Art of Ten Beginnings gave students the chance to step into the spotlight and present their work, assured that their peers, professors and the Wilson community were there to watch them succeed.

Nestled in the lower level of Lenfest Learning Commons, the string lights above the modern industrial room outside Sarah’s Coffeehouse provided an ideal surrounding for an evening of storytelling as raindrops tapped against the windows.

One at a time, students took the stage to narrate stories of creativity, mystery, suspense, awe or wonder. McBride beamed with pride as he watched students present their work.

Jasmine Gruver, one of McBride’s students, said, “Dr. McBride is a great teacher. He creates a warm and welcoming environment where it’s clear he wants to see us all succeed.”

Ten Beginnings is an extension of McBride’s advanced fiction writing class, which is not just about writing. It is about teaching students resilience and determination. It also teaches them to believe in themselves and to embark on individual journeys of exploration.

Supportive feedback from events like Ten Beginnings hones and develops students’ writing skills. Not only did McBride’s class share their own stories, but they also kindled a small fire in each one of their listeners, reminding them of the infinite delicacy and creativity that is art.

One thread in the inspiring tapestry that was ArtsFest 2024, their little contributions were bright and radiant, bearing witness to the fact that storytelling changes lives and fantastic teachers make those stories happen.

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