At the Independent Writers’ Studio, I offer two groups for writers: Monday afternoons from 1-3 PM and Tuesday evenings, 7-9 PM.
The room is an invitation to write: a long and much loved red mahogany table, a coffee pot perking, and tea water heating await group members. Our writers come from all walks of life, and many have found a niche with us. A calendar is on the wall of the studio on the third floor of the Clover Block building. An old photo of my grandma Anderson presides on the corner chair — she was young in the photo taken sometime before 1900. Copies of Clover, A Literary Rag and awards and posters from previous Clover events are evident.
I begin each group with a writer’s exercise — questions — with the directions –choose one or more or none but write for ten minutes or so. When time is called and hellos are shared we go around the table reading the answers to the questions. If a writer chooses not to share, that is fine.
We are not here to force a certain way to write or a how/to to take part in the group structure. We are here to write and to motivate all of us to bring our writing up a notch — no matter what level you believe your writing is on — it can move demonstrably in a group setting.
I encourage writers to understand his or her process when it comes to writing with the hope of gaining a keen understanding of our muses — when/ where and how to take advantage of the artistic urge to write.
When we finish sharing answers to questions, each person at the table has at least 10 minutes to present a portion of the project he or she is working on — the range for projects have included non fiction guides, poetry, novel, essay, children’s and young adult fiction, and journaling. Each one brings a copy for me to follow along and/or copies for the group to read along with the writer.
My job is to mentor the process — I am candid and honest and my only goal is to make sure that the writer and I are on the same track. After I respond others in the group do as they may. The questions and discussions that ensue are insightful. We are the finest audience for new material — we listen with keen interest.
So come on in and see for yourself — get to know us. The cost is $11 a session and the first time is free. If you pop in please bring something of yours to share. We love new voices.
Look forward to seeing our ad in Whatcom Watch and on Facebook.
Clover Block Building — corner of Commercial and Holly, downtown Bellingham.
Mondays 1-3 PM
Tuesday evening, 7-9 PM