Slice of Life 28: Writers’ Group
By Janice Ewing
At first it was called the Retired Writers Group, but that’s really a misnomer, as most of us are working in some capacity and we’re certainly not retired from writing. A more fitting, although clunky name might be Flexible Enough to Meet During the Day Writers. Actually, we’re doing just fine without a name.
This is how it works. We (a group of PAWLP fellows and a couple of others we’ve picked up along the way) meet from 11:00-2:00 on occasional Fridays, in the aptly named ‘community room’ of one of our members. We meet at approximately six-week intervals, but it’s not that exact. We’re flexible.
There is a protocol though. First things first — we order from a local lunch place that delivers. When that’s taken care of, we make ourselves comfortable, and take a few minutes to share news — what we’re reading, publication goals, milestones, challenges… Then, it’s down to the real business of the day. We take turns reading aloud the pieces we’ve brought. It usually turns out that there is a mix of poetry, realistic fiction, science fiction, children’s stories and memoir. After each writer reads his or her piece, the other participants offer friendly critique, guiding questions, and encouragement.
When lunch arrives, we take a brief break to resettle with our sandwiches and salads and then continue the process. Our time together is valuable and we want to make the most of it. Three hours go by quickly. We set our next date, wish each other well, and go back to other parts of our lives. But somehow, leaving the community room, we all realize that we’re not the same people that we were when we arrived.
* This “Slice of Life” post is part of a larger blog series, hosted by the blog site, Two Writing Teachers: A Meeting Place for a World of Reflective Writers.
Janice Ewing is an adjunct for Cabrini College and a co-director for the Pennsylvania Writing & Literature Project. Janice co-facilitates PAWLP’s “Continuity Days” and this blog. She is an avid reader and writer, and especially enjoys writing poems.
Your writing group sounds lovely. I had to laugh when you described what must happen first…ordering lunch. I belong to a writing group who writes for Choice Literacy. We meet once a month and eating dinner is the first thing on our list too! We chat while we eat and then spend about an hour writing before sharing and getting feedback. I cherish this time with my fellow writers who have become good friends.
You capture the comfortable camaraderie of the group. Wish I could have joined all of you. I was out and about observing student teachers. I started in Kennett, PA and ended the day in Elverson, PA – from mushroom farms to Amish buggies, I enjoyed my journey and seeing the amazing progress my student teachers have made, but I miss writing group – May 15th is on my calendar!
Wonderful group of writers and friends! You are giving me some ideas for future!
This sounds like a wonderful group. I loved your last sentence and how it expressed the impact that this group has.