Carnegie Mellon University
January 18, 2022

New Club Connects Students With Alumni in the Writing Field

By Julianne Tippett

The Writing Academy, founded in 2021, is a club dedicated to all forms of writing that provides students with opportunities for networking and developing professional skills. The organization currently has 28 members and is looking to grow.

The Writing Academy matches each member with a personalized mentor who caters to their mentee’s specific writing needs and niche.  Further, it allows a space for students to share their writing projects and obtain valuable feedback from their peers.

Sarah Abrams, Writing Academy founder and president, noticed an opportunity to create new  networking options for CMU students interested in writing careers. With the desire to enter the field of technical writing, Abrams took it upon herself to create a space for CMU students to network with peers and alumni.

“There is a disconnect in the way that students are currently able to network with alumni in the writing industry,” said Abrams. “This is a step towards connecting students with alumni.”

With this in mind, she contacted countless CMU alumni in writing fields in order to find willing mentors for current CMU students.

“There are some traditional writers — publishers, editors, technical writers, creative writers, business writers and a lot of authors,” said Abrams. “We also have more non-traditional writers; for example, we have a video game design writer.”

She then got the word out through friends in the English Department using a Google form to match mentees with mentors. The club is open to all CMU students no matter the major.

“A lot of people who signed up for mentors are not from Dietrich, which I think is really cool,” she said.

Although the club has only existed for one semester, its members have been met with success. Kerry Mills, a sophomore technical writing major, was matched with a mentor in her niche, environmental science technical writing. 

“My mentor has been wonderful,” said Mills. “I have always been intimidated by the internship process with all of its nuances with recruiters and social situations, but she has been there every step of the way.”

Mills explained how her mentor has given her strategies to convert and compile writing samples that have to do with the environment and offered encouragement to seek out every opportunity to write about environmental topics for a portfolio.

“It's been great to speak with some with specific and actionable advice sourced from their own experience,” said Mills.

Starting in spring 2022 the Writing Academy will have monthly in-person meetings where members can bring in any written work to gather feedback. According to Abrams, interested students can subscribe to the Writing Academy mailing list through The Bridge.

“There is so much talent on campus that it would be a waste not to share,” said Abrams. “CMU students should be able to have a space to get recognition for their written work.”