News

English Department Hosts First-Ever StoryCon

The event explored many aspects of storytelling.

By Luke Fillers, Staff Writer

After brainstorming and planning, Huntington University’s English department hosted the first StoryCon. The event combined current HU students with prospective students to explore the various topics around English, historical reenactments and cosplay. 

“One of the ideas that came up for exposing the English program to prospective students was a conference of some sort,” said English department chair Todd Martin in an email interview. “We wanted the event to not only be academic, but fun.”

After pitching the idea of StoryCon to President Emberton and recruiting HU English alumni to plan the event, HU’s public relations department helped spread the word to prospective students around the local area. The public relations department also helped develop the icon for the event and the postcards sent out. 

All of the planning paid off on Saturday, Feb. 22, when the event was held in the lower MCA. Students were treated with an original StoryCon notebook and an HU English department pen, tools that prepared them for the guest speakers that day. 

One of the alumni that participated in the event was Rachel Platt, who helped plan and present on aspects of writing.

“[Rachel] was very enthusiastic about the opportunity,” Martin said. “[She] recruited some of her students and others to be a part of her presentation on cosplay and historical reenactments as a means of gathering details for writing.”

Platt met with other alumni to brainstorm ideas on how to make the event memorable for both current HU students and prospective students. 

“Rachel actually reached out to me because she saw the value of the event to her students,” Martin said. “And we discussed her experience with historical reenactment, as well as cosplay, as major plusses for the event.”

Molly Rose, an assistant professor in the English department, spoke on strong writing and well-developed characters in students’ writings. Another speaker was alum Christy Cabe, who shared her personal story about publishing books that she had written. The event also included opportunities for students to share what they have written during an open-mic session over lunch. Students also were given the opportunity to work together in an escape room and revisit their pieces in a group workshop. 

Because this was the first time HU has hosted StoryCon, the English department is awaiting feedback before deciding what plans they have for StoryCon in the future.”It was the first time such an event had been planned, and now we have something to build on,” Martin said. “The hope was that this would potentially become an annual event. Now we just need to see if it makes sense to do it again.”

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