Coastal Carolina’s English department is growing rapidly. Last week the department held the first event for the Words To Say It Visiting Writers Series.
Jason Ockert, a professor at CCU, explained what the series hopes to offer the community.
“The Words to Say It Visiting Writers Series brings some of the best fiction writers, poets, and creative nonfiction writers in the country to Coastal," said OcKert. "By offering students, faculty and the community a chance to hear from a diverse range of award-winning authors, we enhance our academic culture. ”
Last week, CCU hosted Benjamin Percy, a successful writer from Eugene, Oregon.
Percy attended undergrad at Brown University and graduate school at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. He has written in a variety of different genres. Anywhere from novels, such as "Thrill Me" and "The Dark Net," short stories like "Refresh, Refresh," and comic books, "Teen Titans" and "Green Arrow."
He has also written articles for many magazines including GQ and Esquire. Percy started in short stories because there was less to lose.
“If I screwed up, I lost a week or a few days, however long I put into the piece, whereas with novels you put in years of work,” said Percy.
Percy talked about how he has never experienced writers block because he is always challenging himself, which is also a word of advice that he has for young writers.
“You need an engine with six cylinders blazing if you want others to want to read your writing.”
He spoke on how a writer should be passionate about their writing, and how they shouldn’t be afraid of the word “no."
“I wrote four failed novels before I was published," said Percy. "I sent a short story in to 39 different literary journals before one finally said yes. A lot of people would stop after the 7th rejection.”
Percy read an excerpt from his newest novel, "The Dark Net."
It is a story written on the mysterious “dungeon” of the internet.
When he got the idea for this book, he immediately engulfed himself in technology.
“I had 5 apple watches going up my arms, every tablet, the Google glasses…”
Percy went on to explain how awkward it is to order coffee while twitching to backspace with the Google glasses.
Google also invited him to their campus where he rode in a driverless car. Percy made some students laugh and listen.
The next reading will be a faculty spotlight.
The chair of the English Department Joe Oestreich will be reading on Tuesday, Nov. 7 at 5:30 p.m. in the Johnson Auditorium.
Further information can be found in the Cultural Arts calendar.