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.