Writing Gurus welcome writers

Students write their way through the second year of the writing center.


Bronlyn Holland

Ashley McIntyre, senior, and Meredith Greene, senior, play the roles of a student and tutor in the writing center. Greene enjoyed the session provided by Kennesaw State University.

Jedea Cook and Bronlyn Holland

Lori Vincent, Writing Center director, and Writing Gurus, upperclassman, write their way through the second year of the writing center. Ola High never had a writing center before the 2017-18 school year.

Vincent participated in the Kennesaw Mountain Writing project, last summer, which is where she met other teachers, who established writing centers at their schools. Vincent thought of the idea of the Writing Center in an unusual situation.

“I was standing in the vending machine area helping students with their writing, and I thought wow we really have this need,” Vincent said. She discussed with Dr. Tylisha Hill, assistant principal, on opening the Writing Center.

Last year, Vincent visited Kennesaw State University’s Writing Center to receive coaching with four of her students. This year, she took more students for coaching on being a tutor to expand the means of the writing center.

“I took four students last year and 21 students this year,” Vincent said.

Kennedi Mitchell, senior, is one of the Writing Gurus and went to KSU as well.

“I think it’s[writing center] absolutely imperative that students make use of the writing center. My experience at KSU was enlightening,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell appreciates her newfound confidence in writing.

“Peer review is important because when you are able to get someone’s eyes on your paper, their ability to see things that you couldn’t see before…Writing is so important it’s something that your always going to need to know how to do so building that skill now is going to be very productive and useful later,” Mitchell said.

Dr. Mary Lou Odom, director of the Writing Center at KSU, helped students make up their “own rules” for their writing. Dr. Odom has been in the writing center since 2004 but has been the director since 2010.

“The biggest single thing I’ve seen strengthen is we have implemented a training program, we used to just hire pretty good writers but now we have a 9 week online training for our tutors,” Dr. Odom said.

By having a writing center, Odom believes it helps students feel more comfortable about turning in a paper than having to write it alone. 

“I think that has also done a lot to make students see the center not just as a place to go when you need help, but a place where people go when they wanna do or talk about writing,” Dr. Odom said.

Students will sign up for appointments or come as walk-ins. Students can access the writing center from 7:45-8: 05 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays along with Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:15-3:45 p.m.