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WA Ghostwriter

The student news site of Westford Academy

WA Ghostwriter

The student news site of Westford Academy

WA Ghostwriter

Beyond Words makes a comeback after pandemic

President+and+senior+Natalie+Strauss+sharing+her+piece+during+the+open+mic+event+on+Nov.+9
Saanvi Arora
President and senior Natalie Strauss sharing her piece during the open mic event on Nov. 9

For many writers, it can be difficult to find a safe space to share their work in a professional and encouraging environment. Beyond Words is a club that has solidified itself as this welcoming place for anyone who is interested. 

On Nov. 9, the club held an open mic event for all interested members of the WA community. The event sparked a lot of interest and had many students come to share their pieces. President of the club, dubbed “Facilitator of Fun”, senior Natalie Strauss believes that these events are really important for the community and hopes to hold more in the future. 

“It was actually a really lively bunch,” Straus said. “[…] We want WA to feel included in Beyond Words because [our goal] is to represent student talent and student creativity.”

According to Strauss, the first year after the pandemic was difficult for the club, with it taking more of a backseat in the WA club scene. After making it’s official return last year, it became noticeably difficult to make a large comeback due to little events in previous years.

This year, however, Beyond Words was able to hold the open mic event as well as a contest where the two first place winners each received a $20 gift card, along with being featured on the club’s bulletin board and Instagram. Additionally, they were considered to be published in this year’s magazine. The contest was centered around the theme of “change” and participants could interpret it in any way they wanted to, with many submitting work from plays to excerpts of books they are writing.

The winners of the competition were announced as junior Juliette Travassos for her poem titled “When Time Stopped” and freshman Kristin Robbins for her art piece. Additionally, freshman Avishi Sharma won second place with her short story “Dandelion” and senior Mia Kuo won third place for her short story “I would pray”. The winners were decided by club members voting, and the pieces that got the most points won. 

Travassos joined Beyond Words at the beginning of the year and started writing poems to encompass the feeling of October. She entered the competition because she wanted to engage in the club and was interested in a challenge. Her poem is about the nostalgic moment of entering her best friend’s house and feeling like time has stopped.

“As far as I’ve been the advisor, this is the first time we’ve done a competition. A lot of it is just bringing back the community building, we don’t want it to be a magazine that’s published once a year and we’re done,” club advisor and Spanish teacher Krisela Karaja said. “Part of the aim of the contest was to first just engage our community and just generate excitement. And another part, beyond the community building, is to also make sure that students have things that they could potentially submit to our magazine.”

For Karaja, the club’s main goals are to hold more contests and open mics down the line, focus on magazine editing with the entire club, and generate excitement throughout the student body and community. Additionally, the club will be at the Holiday Bazaar this year selling decorated writing journals, bookmarks, poems-on-the-spot, jewelry, secondhand books, and more.

“Our main focus of the club is to create a space where everybody can write and create, but that entails making the magazine,” junior and Managing Editor Meghan Gardner said. “So we make the magazine which is the main focus, we do the bazaar like most other clubs, but really we just want people to create and we want to be able to show off people’s work.”

Beyond Words is currently taking submissions for their Literary Magazine, which will be published later in the school year, and they can be reached via email at [email protected]. Meetings are held every Thursday after school from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. in room 135.

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About the Contributor
Saanvi Arora, News Editor
Hi! I am a junior and one of the News Editors for the Ghostwriter! Some things that I love to do outside of school are playing the guitar, singing, reading, listening to music, or hanging out with my friends and family. I am looking forward to another great year!

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