Write to Be connects student writers of color

Write to Be opted against a typical club structure in favor of a more close-knit feel. (Graphic by Samantha Peabody 25 for Write to Be)

Write to Be opted against a typical club structure in favor of a more close-knit feel. (Graphic by Samantha Peabody ’25 for Write to Be)

It can be difficult to create spaces for people of color at predominately white institutions. Enter Shirley Liu ’23 and the new Write to Be group for students of color.

As a mentor Writing Associate, Liu created Write to Be through the College Writing Program to foster community and provide support for writers of color. Since its formation earlier this month, the group has become an intimate space for people of color to meet, bounce ideas off each other, share pieces and enhance their writing craft.

“One thing I’ve always really wanted to do is create a space for students of color to feel comfortable sharing their writing,” Liu said. “Just because from my experience, I’ve walked into meetings for lit mag and then everyone there is white and I felt really uncomfortable or I didn’t feel comfortable sharing my writing in a space like that sometimes.”

Instead of an official club with an elected board, the group opted for a close-knit feel.

“I enjoy the intimacy in the group, how I feel free to express myself and know that it’s a safe space and a learning experience as well,” Samantha Peabody ’25, who recently joined the group, wrote in an email. “I’m surrounded by my peers who are writers with different backgrounds and different writing styles and forms that they express themselves through.”

Despite the limited amount of time that the group has been meeting, the members have already come to enjoy their time together. Ani Brutus ’26, who joined Write to Be for the group’s first meeting, immediately felt welcome in that environment.

“Some people share their stories [and] poems and I really love spoken word poetry. So, I shared a little bit of that … and it was really good,” Brutus said. “So when everyone went around, something that I really loved is how people interpreted it, but also the criticism was really constructive and I loved it. I love just being in that space.”

With graduation coming this spring for Liu, they feel comfortable with having accomplished the biggest goal of starting the group. Liu’s hope is for the group to continue without them.

“I really love the group, they’re super excited about it and just happy to be there and in a community with each other and that’s my goal,” Liu said. “I really hope that once I graduate the group stays and that it keeps accumulating new members. I want it to stay intimate and like a group of friends really who are just writing together.”

Those interested in joining Write to Be can reach out to Liu at [email protected] for further information.

“If anyone wants this community and is interested in this community, they’re definitely welcome to join,” Liu said.

Disclaimer: Managing Editor Shirley Liu ’23 did not contribute editing or reporting.