Thursday, May 5, 2016

Wordwrights Writing Class

Wordwrights Writing Class Logo
For the past three years, a colleague and I have co-hosted a class for people interested in writing. Every Monday afternoon (except for holidays) some fifteen to twenty-five of us gather in classroom 1 at the North Domingo Baca Multigenerational Center (7521 Carmel NE) in Albuquerque for a meeting of the Wordwrights Writing Class. Promptly at 1:30 p.m., we open with a Weekly Tip covering some aspect of writing, ranging from how to construct a sentence, proper use and placement of modifiers, involving the senses in your work, tenses, viewpoint, and the like.

Next, Dennis Kastendiek reads from and talks about various authors who have caught his attention. Thereafter, for about an hour and a half, various class members read from their work and accept comments from the class. Our group is open-ended, meaning it is free to any and all. Those who join us attend when they wish or skip classes when life gets in the way.

Membership is eclectic. We have published authors, serious writers struggling to be published, beginning writers, and people who just want the stimulation of being around creative people. We are poets and memoirists, novelists and essayists, technical writers and film reviewers… and of course, those who haven’t yet settled on exactly what they want to be.

Our writers have a number of projects underway. I won’t try to cover all of them, but here are some of our current efforts:

·       A cozy murder mystery opening with a body covered with chocolate in a bakery
·       A novel based on some gristly Hungarian murders in the 19th century
·       A book of poems based on the writer’s dating partners over the years
·       An early 20th century novel about a young woman breaking the shackles of convention and coming into her own
·       A woman both charmingly and courageously excising her traumatic past by facing it through her poetry
·       A novel based on an ancient Egyptian princess who some believe gave Scotland her name
·       An essayist who brings the class to laughter with his clever twists on life’s lessons

There are many more, but for the sake of brevity, I’ll stop here.

The point of this post? You’re welcome to join us if you wish, but more importantly, if there is no such group in your area, consider starting one. I am convinced that everyone in our class would tell you the results are worth the effort. As a matter of interest, this writing class has been going on for eleven continuous years. Rob Spiegel and Larry Greenley from SouthWest Writers (New Mexico’s largest professional writing organization), started the class and ran it for eight years before turning it over to Dennis and me. That says a lot for the worthiness of the idea.
I know this post is a bit different, but it’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while, so I finally sat down and wrote it. Hope you’ll consider becoming involved in such an effort… or start a class if there’s not one available in your neighborhood.

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