Wordcrafters Open House Proves That Nerds Can Throw Parties Too

Word Games with Word Nerds: A Groovy Evening of Wordy Witticisms, Board Games, and Fun

By Audrey Quinn

In August, local writing non-profit Wordcrafters hosted an epic open house! The atmosphere was playful, quirky, and cozy. Altogether, 18 word lovers gathered and played board games, such as Bubble Talk, Dixit, You’ve Been Sentenced, Mad Libs, and the crowd-pleasing Bananagrams.

At one point, the game of Bananagrams got “pretty intense,” says Jo Bartlett, Wordcrafters’ Giving and Connections Catalyst. One of the players, local author Valerie Ihsan, kept using up all of her Bananagrams tiles and calling “peel,” which forced other players to pick up new tiles, even though they hadn’t yet used all of their current tiles! But in a show of true good sportsmanship, Valerie stopped to help other players craft new words from their letter tiles to add to their matrix of existing words.

Guests also enjoyed playing Dixit, which is a French story-telling game featuring beautifully illustrated cards. Players are dealt six cards, and one player is dubbed the “storyteller,” who must select one card from their hand and come up with a sentence that fits the picture on that card, which they share aloud with the other players.The other players then pick a card from their hand that best fits this sentence, and hand it over to the storyteller facedown. The storyteller shuffles these cards with the card they originally selected, and lays all of the cards face up along the board. The non-storyteller players then vote for the card they think was the storyteller’s, and receive points if they guess correctly. The storyteller receives points if at least one player voted for their card correctly. 

Wordcrafters’ own Drea Lee, Programming and Fiction Fantastic Coordinator, and Jo particularly enjoyed playing Mad Libs with guest Milo, who brought the board game along with his parents!

In addition to these excellent Word Games for Word Nerds, there were also several intellectually-stimulating discussions about advancing technology and what this means for writers. In particular, people talked about chatGPT, and how the AI tool poses some potential benefits for writers in terms of assisting them in generating new ideas, as well as some obvious pitfalls, including the potential for job replacement of writers with AI in the future, and use of peoples’ writing without their consent and other copyright infringement issues. 

Of course, everybody also enjoyed free chocolate goodies, tea, coffee, fancy soda, and a dash of wine to keep their writerly juices flowing. 

Wordcrafters looks forward to hosting more get-togethers like this in the future, and proving that these word nerds know how to get down and throw an excellent party that’s sure to entertain writers, readers, and chocolate lovers of all ages!