By Michan Myer, Associate Director of the Center for Writing and Lecturer in English

July 5, 2017

It’s no secret that college students burn the proverbial midnight oil—especially when they are faced with final exams and papers. University libraries, including Norwich’s Kreitzberg Library, have long responded accordingly, extending hours as late as 2 a.m. to accommodate late-night studies. In like fashion, Norwich’s dedicated writing coaches decided to meet students where they most needed help—even if it meant eschewing some beauty sleep.

Planning for the “All Night Write” began at the Northeast Writing Center Association’s annual conference at PACE University in April where Norwich’s writing coaches not only shared their research and experience, but also won a team scholarship for student excellence. After attending a workshop at the conference, the coaches set to work, and the first annual event came together. Instead of leaving students to toil in lonely, energy-drink-fueled confusion, The Center for Writing coaches decided to hold an all-hands-on-deck writing event on the eve of finals for the spring semester. On April 30, from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m., writing coaches led 30-minute walk-in sessions, accompanied by the important support of food and coffee.

What a night it was! Coaches held over 50 writing sessions, and students brought all types and levels of writing assignments, from first-year English essays to engineering and history thesis projects. The atmosphere was percolating with collaboration and brewing coffee. Students and coaches alike infused their projects energy and excitement, and new ideas met excellence in expression as the coaching sessions progressed.

Graduating senior engineering student and writing coach Artmiz Golkaramnay remarked, “I felt helpful! And the students seemed to feel like they got the help they needed too.” The collaboration extended beyond the sessions as well, with many students remaining in the second floor study area and calling on the “floating coach” for quick citation questions, sentence read-throughs, and moments of encouragement. In fact, the turn-out exceeded expectations, resulting in the delicious O’Maddi’s food being devoured before 10 .pm. Even after the food was gone, though, the coffee and tea were flowing—and the ideas followed suit—until the very end of the event. The final coaching session wrapped up at 2:05 am, when a security officer informed the team that the building was closing.

The “All Night Write” was a rousing success, with students commenting that the only improvement they could think of for next year would be more food (isn’t it always?!). It’s safe to say that the Norwich community can look forward to many more excellent collaborations as The Center for Writing continues to work to promote a culture of writing across campus.

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