Meet John Moen: Writing Extra, Extra!


John Moen '14 has lost no time in helping St. Olaf accommodate a wider range of extracurricular interests. This first-year student is the originator, along with Opal Bussart ’14, of the brand-spanking-new St. Olaf Writing Club. The club, which consisted of about 15 members a meeting during interim, will no doubt grow quickly as St. Olaf’s literary geniuses return from their foreign adventures and emerge from their interim hibernations. I sat down with this up-and-coming force on campus to find out a little more about the Writing Club and – of course – some miscellaneous bits of information!

Her Campus St. Olaf: How did you get the idea to start the writing club?
John Moen: It started with the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) group I got together in November. A lot of the people in the group had similar interests, so we thought it would be a good idea to start a permanent club where people who also have those interests can join and show off what they can do in a setting where they’re not going to be judged. The club started meeting the first week of interim, so it’s still pretty new.

HC: Does everyone in the club write primarily novels?
JM: Since a lot of the members were in the NaNoWriMo group, most of us write novels. But there are also people working on short stories and poetry. People seem to have this idea in their head that it’s an academic, essay-writing thing. Really, it’s just a place to have fun and express creativiy. Even if you’re not good, you should come try because no one’s going to judge you.

HC: What goes on at a typical Writing Club meeting?
JM: It’s basically just a casual environment to talk about writing – there’s not a whole lot of structure, but every third Wednesday of the month is “Critique Week,” a time for us to share our writing and give constructive criticism.

HC: What’s coming up in the future for the Writing Club?
JM: In April, some of us will be participating in Script Frenzy – it’s like NaNoWriMo except you write a 100-page play in a month. That should be fun!

HC: How can we get involved?
JM: We have a meeting every Wednesday night at 7 pm in Rolvaag room 525. It’s really awesome and everybody should join!

HC: What’s the best thing you’ve ever written?
JM: Oooh, that’s tough – not tough in that everything I write is good! Probably the novel I’m working on right now. It is science fiction, and it’s more serious and dark than the novel I wrote during NaNoWriMo. Unfortunately, it has no title yet.

HC: Who is your favorite author?
JM: Probably Philip Reeve, because he’s really, really, really British. He wrote a series called Mortal Engines, which I really enjoy.

HC: What was your favorite part of interim?
JM: The first weekend I went over to NDSU to see my girlfriend, and I also visited some friends a the U.

HC: Any part of interim you weren’t a fan of?
JM: Two-hour classes. That wasn’t so great, but it wasn’t terrible, either. For the most part, interim was nice to me.

HC: What are you most looking forward to in second semester?
JM: All my classes seem pretty interesting. Also, I’m excited to continue with the Writing Club, keep writing and hopefully generate more interest.

HC: Favorite spot on campus?
JM: I really like the conference rooms upstairs. I play board games up there with friends sometimes, and it’s always really fun!

HC: What about your favorite Caf creation?
JM: I take a cup and put half Sprite and half orange juice in it. It’s really good!

HC: Are you going to vote Coke or Pepsi on the 15th?
JM: The little pamphlets in the caf are super pretentious, so just to spite them I’m going to vote for Coke.

HC: Finish these sentences:
St. Olaf men are… gentlemen and scholars, generally.
St. Olaf women are… pretty great, I guess, too. I’m spoken for, so I really can’t say.

Any advice for college women?
JM: Don’t think that you’re too fat, because you’re probably not. Have some self-esteem, please. Do well in school. Have fun.