By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes

For three years Emma Snyder couldn’t wait to open the box and begin flipping through the pages of McNary Write Club’s latest book.

Not this year.

“This club has been my lifeline through high school so leaving it is definitely bittersweet,” Snyder said. “Knowing that this will be the last book was definitely a mixed feeling. It’s the work I’m proudest of but I’m not ready to leave yet.”

Pencil-scratch Philosophy, the Write Club’s seventh and largest book yet, features work from 23 writers over 140 pages, concluding with Snyder’s poem Coin Collector.

“It’s something that I worked on for four years before I really had the experiences and language to share that message,” said Snyder of Coin Collector, which is about her own struggles with anxiety and depression. “I went through four to six years and I’m just coming out of it and I thought that it’s an area that not many people talk about and they need to talk about. I thought if my writing could help someone else that’s going through that, that was something I should do.”

Snyder has been writing since middle school but back then her poems were always funny and quirky.

“I got into an argument with my table partner who said those are great but you can’t write anything serious and those are the only things that count and since then it was like I bet I can,” Snyder said. “I’m holding a grudge since middle school.”

The past four Write Club books are proof of Snyder’s progress.

“High school was such a big area of self discovery for me, from getting through middle school and having those experiences there, just getting to a point where I am happy with my life and happy with the place that I’m leaving school at,” Snyder said. “So I’d like to think that my writing shows that.”

The book was also the final one for senior Parker Kehret, who submitted a poem, short story and film script.

“It’s been a really good place to find what I like to do,” Kehret said. “I like to write and this has helped me cultivate that. I’m just going to really miss the people. I’ve really made good friends here.”

McNary junior Lauren Murphy has three pieces in the book, including the poem Dear Education.

“It is written to all of the teachers who helped me become who I am,” Murphy said. “I wrote this to all of the teachers who encouraged me to start writing, which for a really long time I had bad hand writing. I was really self conscious about my writing so it’s for all those people who helped me get to where I’m at now where I can write and be confident in the stuff that I write and actually feel good enough to submit at word slams and good enough to submit into a book that will be kept forever.”

Along with new work by Write Club members Snyder, Kehret, Murphy, Anne Farris, Brooklyn Flint, Laura Gillespie, Michael Hitchcock, Hanna Lawson, Rose Nason and Adrien Weathers, the book also features contributions from the club’s writing contest winners Sara Arnsmeier, Ellie Auvinen, Eliana Berg, Paris Boyd, Hannah Eggert, Brady Ellis, Abrahan Garcia, Emily Lettenmaier, Layne Ling, Eben Mayer, Cade Olson, Natalia Smith and Raina Working.

The front cover was designed by Lawson and the back by Farris.

Paperback copies of the book are available at the Keizertimes office for $5.