Urbandale High School is filled with students overflowing with talent, especially with talent in writing. Fortunately, the school has started an event where students get the opportunity to showcase these talents. Write Out Loud, or WOL, is an event developed by the English Department teachers from the high school, allowing students to present a personally written piece to an audience. These events are held in local coffee shops, allowing the audience to enjoy some coffee, along with entertainment from young high schoolers.
Although visiting local coffee shops is usually a relaxing experience, when WOL is present, it brings a whole new element to the scene. “It’s better than just sitting in a normal coffee shop, you may as well go to a coffee shop when they’re doing Write Out Loud,” says Urbandale junior and one time performer Matt Moran. “You get to learn something about somebody, maybe hear something that strikes or has an impact on you, and you’re like ‘Hey this is more than a cup of joe.’”
The impact that Write Out Loud has on people is beyond the attendants of the event, even the students who make it possible feel impacted by every WOL. Moran reflects on his experience performing, “It was a lot of fun seeing the kids I walk past in the hallways expressing themselves. Seeing classmates sharing poetry, being vulnerable, and putting themselves out there. That was really cool because you don’t normally see that in school. You know it’s a lot of shuffle around and head down to get to the next class, but at Write Out Loud it’s different because everybody is being real and trying to be themselves.”
Write Out Loud has evolved from being an exhibition of strictly writing to showcasing art of all kinds. Musical pieces as well as artwork developed by students has been introduced to Write Out Loud events. No matter the work being performed, students are the fuel behind not just making this event happen, but making it special to everyone in attendance.