One hundred years ago, on January 6, 1923, Professor Roy J. Wolfinger held the first meeting of the Enid Writers Club. Professor Wolfinger, on the Phillips University in Enid, Oklahoma, had a vision. He knew that writers needed the company of like minds. So, the students met and began to help each other become better writers. That vison is still present today as evidenced by this proclamation from the City of Enid naming January 23, 2023, as Enid Writers Club Day.
When I first began writing, I learned that there was a local writers club and I wanted to check them out. To join, they required that you read them a three page original piece so they could see your genre and interests. I was terrified. But I was not the first and will not be the last. I’ve been a member for 14 years and now I’m lucky enough to be president on this historical year. It has been my honor to serve the club, grow it exponentially, and let the public know about our centennial. We have writers of all ages from all walks of life and our one goal is to become the best writers we can.
When I think of the 1923 students of Phillips University and their writing club I think of Robin Williams and The Dead Poet Society movie. The year of 1923 was still in the Roaring 20s, time of speakeasies and flapper dancers. Phillips University was a Christian university, and I don’t know how much Razmataz and bootleg whisky there was, but I love to think of them reading the classics and helping each other write better. We still do that today.
This Thursday we will present an original plaque to Northern Oklahoma College, the former Phillips University, and it will hang in a place of honor in the Marshall Building. I’ll show you that celebration next week.
I’ve made some great friends in the last 14 years and one of the things I like best is our critique meetings. We share up to three pages of our latest work in progress and they take a red pen to it! They see things I would never have noticed, and it’s made me a better writer. Thank you Enid Writers Club.
Here’s to another 100 years and happy anniversary!
What are you reading/writing this week?
Just a short note. I have a lot of documentation on McAlester Prison riots in the 70’s. I was head of first responders of the National Guard to enter the gates. This is the 50th anniversary. I would be glad to give you all that I have. I seek no money for this information. We had taped interviews of prisoners, Guards, Highway patrol, but most tapes have gone bad. At the time this was one of the worst riots in the nation.
Ken, I could pass this along to my club to see if anyone is interested in it. Thanks for the shout out.