Brooks Free Library Writers Groups
On June 12, 2006, the Brooks Free Library Writers Groups will be celebrating the fourth anniversary since inception. They meet every Wednesday from 10:30 a.m. to noon and every Thursday from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Over the years, many members have had manuscripts in their files which have lain dormant mainly because these works have been judged (by the writer) as not good enough for exposure to the public. Many people want to rekindle an old desire to write and/or publish memoirs, personal essays, poems, books, short stories, fiction and non-fiction.
Because of this, John Prophet, group facilitator, distributes what he calls The Simplified Writers Time Line. Along with a Critique Checklist, the time line is used to remind writers of the basic decision points in the life of a writer (and his/her manuscript): the IDEA, (creating something to write about); WRITE (putting the idea to paper); EDIT (tweaking the writing to make it better); PUBLISH (exposing the work to the public, entering contests, submitting to magazines, or, if a book, finding an agent or publisher); and MARKET (if a book is published, getting the word out to sell it in as many ways as possible).
Each of the elements of the time line becomes a point of discussion for setting goals and for improving the craft. Ideas may not get written because they may be pre-judged as frivolous. The groups discuss the workings of the internal and external censors. Written work is read aloud for comments, using the Critique Checklist to focus on the craft, not the individual, and so on through the time line with sharing of information.
Clearly, a writer, or for that matter, anyone who wants to improve on a craft does better with positive reinforcement. The opposite is true as well; a writer who is badly criticized may suffer for years. The writers groups focus on the craft. Every member wants to do better. The payoff comes from placing in a contest or publishing an article or short story. Perhaps the goal is to write memoirs for the family, in which case not only are suggestions made to make them more effective, the options for publishing the final product are discussed. Nothing in the business or craft of writing is left unturned.
Because the groups are offered by the library, there are no limitations on membership. All writers are welcome.