About Laura Nepodal: Writer's Guild Founder
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Horizon: Why did you choose to come to Westmont?
Nepodal: I chose to come to Westmont because I was looking for a Kinesiology program. Being established here with my husband, and with my family so close by, Westmont was the most proximal and the most ideal option – not to mention the Kinesiology program is great. So I transferred here as a third-year last fall.
Horizon: How long have you been writing?
Nepodal: I’ve been writing on-and-off for much of my life. I actually just stumbled across a 20-something page handwritten story that I wrote when I was seven. I’ve been an avid reader of fiction and some nonfiction for much longer though, and I attribute my love of writing to my appreciation and hunger for reading.
Horizon: What is it about creative writing that you enjoy?
Nepodal: Creative writing is a foundation from which stories that yearn to be told can unfurl and expand in any number of ways, often stretching our imaginations and inciting our inherent love for adventure and exploration in the process.
Horizon: Are you working on any creative writing pieces now?
Nepodal: I’m currently working on my first novel. It’s proven to be a delicate process for me. Up until now, I’ve been more inclined towards short stories, so this is definitely new territory. It’s a fantasy novel with some hopefully interesting characters and intriguing twists and turns. It hasn’t revealed itself fully to me yet. It’s a bit of a tease!
Horizon: What inspired you to start The Writers’ Guild?
Nepodal: I took Dr. VanderMey’s Creative Writing class last fall. My own writing had come to a standstill, and I was eager to learn more about the creative writing process. The class was small, and Dr. VanderMey encouraged a sort of informality and helped create a space that felt enjoyable, safe, supportive, and highly conducive to creative expansion. It was such an invaluable experience for me and several of my classmates that I decided to found The Writers’ Guild the following semester, which largely emulates those same principles.
Horizon: Any favorite stories from your experiences with The Writer’s Guild?
Nepodal: Honestly, there were so many. My favorite is when we get new people who are perhaps apprehensive about sharing their work for the first time – reading your own work in front of people and having the piece analyzed can be nerve-wracking! – and having them realize that we’re all on the same page: Everyone is eager to become even better. Everyone in the Guild values creativity and a passion for storytelling; and whatever genre or theme they may be, we all want to tell the most expansive stories that we can.