Updated: Nov 30, 2021
The time has come for me to officially say goodbye to UoN Writers' Club once and for all. Now that I am done with uni, I will be stepping down from my role as Treasurer and Social Media Coordinator of the Club.
And yes, I am well aware that I have said this before. While at the end of 2019 I stepped down from my role as Founding President due to the conclusion of my undergraduate degree, however to the surprise of many - myself included - I ended up starting my postgraduate studies the next year, remaining a club member and stepping up into the position of Treasurer & Social Media Coordinator for 2021 while I finished off my studies. Now that I have graduated, it's time for me to step down once again and let the next generation of UoN Writers take charge.
Having founded the club back in October 2017, I hadn't realised the impact it would have on my life at the time. Being an executive teaches you a lot of unique skills in relation to leadership and governance, skills I had never really thought about needing. But what I think I often overlook is that I am of the unique position that I was never 'just an executive', but a founding executive. There was a lot of additional hurdles that came with that and starting a club from the ground up, a lot of different skills I had to develop in order to see it to the other side. All of this contributed to making me who I am today, and not just in relation to an expanded knowledge in businesses know-how. Being an executive of the club greatly helped me build my confidence as a person and a leader, allowed my 'introverted' personality to grow and be more comfortable in extroverted situations, and provided me with the opportunity to grow my range of skillsets as well as network connections.
For that, I will forever be grateful.
Overall, I am so proud of what our little club has achieved. 2021 has been the best year on record, with over 90 members in total, making history for our little club. While it was our second year of online-only events, we were fortunate enough to be one of a few clubs able to preserve by hosting virtual events and giveaways. Better yet, to make up for the lack of face-to-face events, we invested funding producing not one, but two, anthologies filled with written pieces, photography, and artwork.
Looking back over my past five years with the club, I am even prouder to see us still standing. We began as a small unofficial Facebook page of 300 struggling to affiliate with the university, and have since grown into a Facebook community of 700, an Instagram community of 600, created a small but growing LinkedIn community, as well as have an extensive network of alumni ranging from published authors to professional journalists. This is in addition to our current members who support us as much as we hope and aim to support them, sharing their achievements with our greater community and providing opportunities for growth wherever we can.
Furthermore, over the years we have attended the annual O-Week Expos, spoken at live reading events, hosted skill-development workshops, casual writing meet-ups and book launches, as well as created a tradition of producing an annual publication to showcase our members' work.
I am so, so proud to be leaving the club with a strong sense of community and belonging.
I wish the incoming committee - Nik Koussis, Tegan Stettaford, Nathan Winslow, and Lucy Egan - all the best of luck for 2022. I look forward to seeing the club continue to thrive under your leadership.
And while I may no longer be a part of the club's beating heart, it will always be a piece of mine.