Sham Smadi

Fresh Prints of Detroit; an interview with Sham Smadi

If you ask around the English program, you won’t have any issue finding creative writers. Poets, essayists, novelists, and the rare playwright, most English students are aspiring authors in some capacity. It can often be difficult to find others who will read and review one’s own work. Fortunately, where there are writers, there are also writer’s workshops.

One such group at Wayne is Fresh Prints of Detroit. Composed of both current students and English alumni, Fresh Prints is a monthly writing workshop which aims to provide feedback to writers of any genre or medium. Since 2018, the group has met regularly in local cafés to read each other’s work in a comfortable and supportive environment. We met with Sham Smadi, one of the group’s organizers and senior members, and asked them to describe their experiences with Fresh Prints.



How would you describe Fresh Prints of Detroit?


“We’re a collection of students and former students, we meet once a month to read each other’s writing and give feedback in a casual setting. The workshops started after a few of us took a class taught by Natalie Bakopoulus’ together, we really enjoyed the workshop experience and wanted to continue it outside the classroom, as well as maintain a sense of community between each other.”


How did the group get such an interesting name?


“[laughter] During one of the earlier meetings we were all suggesting names for the group, and one of our members, Connor, blurted it out. It just really had a nice cadence and rolled off the tongue, you know? It’s fresh, it’s lighthearted and fun. A lot of people think it’s “Fresh Prince” like the show, but I’ve always liked the name a lot.”


What do you most enjoy about the meetings?


“I mostly enjoy how chill they are. There isn’t really any strict order or tension to the meetings, they’re very casual and one of the few times I really get to talk to other writers.”


What genres/types of writing do you enjoy reading most?


“Well, I mostly enjoy reading fantasy, though less traditional fantasy. I like more modern, original fantasy works with urban twists, like The Facefaker’s Game or The Blade So Black. That’s the kind of work I like reading, and writing. But during our workshops I’m excited to read anything that people bring with them. People have presented a really diverse selection of work there which I’ve always enjoyed.”


What’s one thing you’d like to tell people interested in coming to the workshops?


“It’s really nice having a group of people who will review your work, I didn’t really have that before the meetings, so I’d say they’re great if your looking for an environment like that, especially a friendly one.”



Writers interested in attending the workshops can send a request for the meeting schedule to