Monday, December 11, 2017

Women's Writing Circle: Our Year In Review

Women's Writing Circle is a place to share our stories. I can't remember a year, a time, an era, where it was more important for women to find a safe and supportive place to write and share their stories.

Women are under attack in almost every arena ... from the workplace, to politics, to domestic life ... to the literary world where equal acceptance and recognition with men's writing remains an ongoing struggle.

It is exhausting, wearying. It is the journey of the feminine.

We share the experience, interpret an intricate world. How?
We find a place to share our stories ... our voices.

"Every secret of a writer's soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind, is written large in his works." ~ Virginia Woolf

In read around we heard the honest, the unconventional, the comic, the ironic, the creative spirit and mind at work.

Witness the women in these photos who made 2017 a special year, together in community. We spent two and a half hours a month to rejuvenate in read around and critique. We took part in a flash fiction workshop, a memoir workshop, a personal essay workshop .... (Here's more information on Women's Writing Circle workshops.) We read in public our work as published authors ... a collaborative anthology of fiction, memoir and poetry aptly titled The Life Unexpected.

Because in many ways, writing opens doors to the life unexpected. Writing fiction, creative nonfiction ... these are merely genre classifications. We write what we have lived, imagine what we might live.

I relish how it feels to wake up in the morning and write. I write about my mother, my husband, my father, the friends I have loved. I write about a woman named Ava, an alter ego, who edited Jay's memoir in A Portrait of Love and Honor and who appeared again as Lydia, a woman alone, in The Life Unexpected.

I look forward to reading my work in the Circle. We know writing can't be in isolation. We seek an audience. Feedback in a supportive writing group helps move us forward and affirms the strength it takes to write and devote ourselves to practicing our craft. Whether we stay or move on, our work together for that time is important.

Writing is therapeuticwe always wanted to write, knew at heart I am a writer. How lucky we are!

Special thanks also goes to the Hilton Garden Inn, Exton, West Chester, PA for its hospitality, its beautiful space for us to meet this year and next!

Brava and job well done!

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