Ode to RYW

Right now I am sitting in the Richmond Young Writers kitchen starting to write and then scribbling out the first line of everything I start with. I’m not even sure that I won’t scribble out these lines in a few minutes. But it’s still important for me to be writing. To feel the slight, familiar cramp in my right hand. To rub the edge of this utensil against the callus on my ring finger. To smell the light, but abrasive, chemical odor to the gel pen from the bulk pack that used to live in the cluttered kitchen-turned-closet of Chop Suey. I loved grabbing chairs or cardstock or fruit snacks from our fragile stacked pile in that space. Going to the ‘off-limits’ section of the bookstore felt like my special, earned privilege. All I ever really seem to do, and what I did throughout high school, at Chop Suey with RYW was hang around and listen and smile and write and rest and recharge. This has always been so consistent and so comforting to me. To feel the paper and smell the ink and sense all of the other people around me doing the same. In the process and the place, this time becomes sacred.


Madeleine is a student at the University of Richmond, a RYW graduate/intern/biggest fan, and a lover of "Right now I am"s, "I remember"s, and "I am what I am"s.