Visiting Writers Series is one for the books


Rebecca Turnbull

Writer Tom Noyes autographs copies of his latest fiction piece “Come by Here: A Novella and Stories” during the A.E. Stringer Visiting Writer Series on Tuesday in Room BE5 of the Memorial Student Center.

A fiction writer captivated students Tuesday, in room BE5 of the Memorial Student Center during a reading of his new book.

Writer Tom Noyes started off this semester’s A.E. Stringer Visiting Writers Series by reading from his latest work in fiction, “Come by Here: A Novella and Stories.”

Noyes said he hopes the event will inspire students who hope to pursue a career in writing.

“I certainly hope that they will kind of see this as a glimpse into something that they can see themselves doing someday. Putting together stories, publishing a book, maybe doing a reading in support of trying to sell that book and so on,” Noyes said. “I remember that being inspiring to me when I was an undergraduate student.”

Noyes said he wants his reading to keep people reading.

“Something I think certainly makes for a good, strong culture is a culture of reading,” Noyes said. “And of course as a writer, I want everyone to read books. So I hope going to literary events like this would make people enthusiastic about reading.”

Sophomore psychology and creative writing major Josh Knight said he comes to these literary events to reinforce the idea for himself and other aspiring writers that writing is a career worth striving towards.

“Writers are the real heroes of our story,” Knight said. “Good writers take the time to think about things, which not a whole lot of people have time to do. It’s an important profession that a lot of people, I feel like, are discouraged from taking on, because it’s not necessarily like a reliable source of income. But when you see things like this, I feel like it can inspire people to go for something that maybe they’re passionate about that doesn’t necessarily feel like something that mom and dad can be like, ‘Oh yeah, that’s a great idea.’”

Visiting Writer Series coordinator and assistant professor of English and creative writing Carrie Oeding said the event was successful in engaging her own students, as well as introducing other students to writing they had not experienced before.

“It’s been a great event,” Oeding said. “Some of my own students were saying that they weren’t sure what to expect and they found themselves really engrossed in it. They were writing down quotes and everything. It’s great to have students come in, not be sure what they’re getting into and then be surprised.”

Prior to the reading, Noyes was able to meet and discuss his work with a 400-level fiction workshop class at Marshall University.

Noyes said he was taken aback by how well some of the students had analyzed his stories and presented new ideas about them.

“I was very impressed with some of the insights they had, some of the questions they had. They were excellent questions and I could tell that they’re very sharp readers,” Noyes said. “I think that bodes well, because it’s hard to be a good, sharp, attentive writer if you’re not a sharp, attentive reader and I definitely saw evidence of that in the Marshall students I met with.”

The next Visiting Writers reading will take place at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 31 in the third floor atrium of Drinko Library and will feature poets Heather Christle and Christopher DeWeese from Yellow Springs, Ohio.

The event will be free and open to the public.

Rebecca Turnbull can be contacted at [email protected]