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Newsletter: 16/5/3: May Write Group Meeting

Hi everyone,

Welcome to our May meeting, the second last of the year and coincidentally occurring tomorrow, on May the Fourth Be With You Day.

May is National Short Story, Share-a-Story and Get Caught Reading Month. Canadian Children’s Book Week occurs this month; I know a few of us write children’s literature. Cartoonists Day is also this month; some of us are cartoonists as well. And a few of us are biographers and will appreciate Biographers Day.

There are also several writing events occurring this month: the Fort Saskatchewan Writer in Residence Writer’s Panel, the Online Nonfiction Writers’ Conference, the YouthWrite Roaring 20s Fundraiser and an Afternoon With the Authors.

April has been rather busy this year. We have interacted and affiliated with several local societies and clubs. These include the Writers Foundation of Strathcona County, which we engaged and reapproached while updating our blog’s promotion of their Strathcona County Writer’s Conference that occurred last Sunday; and the Fort Saskatchewan Writers’ Group, which approached us for advice on holding meetings. We are also getting international recognition for our blog and social networking, showing that they are paying off.

Our next meeting is this Wednesday at 7:00 pm in the Tofield Town Office and our final one is on June 1, the first Wednesday of next month.

Since this is our second last meeting, we need to discuss when we meet next year. Wednesdays are not working for too many of us. So, I created a new survey to ask you when you would like to meet and when you cannot. I would dearly appreciate it if each of you filled out the survey; it will take about 30 seconds to complete, unless you want to make a suggestion or comment. I was hoping to present the results in real time on our blog, but I don’t see any option to do so in WordPress and PollDaddy.

This is a good month to reflect on the writing we have done over the year, so our May prompt is to do just that. You can respond in creative nonfiction, poetry or fiction. The exercise is meant to be metacognitive and introspective — a chance to look back over this year and look forward to writing adventures in the next one. You will be surprised about what you learn. I look forward to hearing your responses, if you wish to share them, in June.

There are also several standing and May competitions you might be interested in. I am also updating our June competitions.

And finally, I would like to ask you if you would be interested in creating a Write Group Anthology next year. The Writers Foundation of Strathcona County did this and found it to be a great community building activity. This is their blurb describing the challenge: “Although this book targets writers, everyone will enjoy this collection of stories and poems from 17 authors as they explore their creativity and respond to 20 different writing prompts. It displays the diversity that exists among writers even when prompted by the same written inspiration. Go on — give it a try!” The challenge is suitably called the Writing Prompt Journey — Take the Challenge. Essentially, next year we respond to ten writing prompts or sets of prompts. We edit and revise these responses, then submit and anthologize them or some of them. There are 25 of us. If we each contribute about five pages, we will get a 125 page book.

Would you be interested in taking on this challenge? This month is the time to decide if we would like to in principle so we can hash out preliminary details at our June 1 meeting. I would like to get enough response to create a survey on or before June 1. Please e-mail me if you have any questions. I will also write a more formal post on our blog where we can define our response to the challenge. I look forward to collaborating with you and producing something from each of us as a community.

I’ve asked for a lot this month — a survey response, a challenge response and a reflective prompt. I’ve also offered a lot — several writing events, the prompt and several competitions. Let’s see what we can accomplish.

See you tomorrow night.

Keep writing,
Shawn

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