It’s a while since I posted and in that time much has happened to our writers’ group. I first dreamed up the idea at the back end of 2011. Originally I started it to be in company with other writers aiming for publication. At first the little group met at my local pub where we could never be certain of having the room to ourselves. We read out our work to the clatter of dishes from the kitchen and the sounds of the bar staff moaning about their employers.
Eventually I found a much more suitable meeting place, in the Shakespeare Centre. We now had a room where we could meet and read out our work in peace. Our group was publicised in various writing magazines and on websites and membership grew steadily. We now have about 25 people either paid up members or considering membership. Thanks to the hard work of one member in particular, Ellie Stevenson, author of a novel about the Titanic – Ship of Haunts – and a collection of short stories, we have now published our first anthology.(Find Ellie at: https://www.facebook.com/Stevensonauthor/info)
Shards from the Bards: A Bardstown Writers’ Collection contains contributions of stories, poems and articles from some of our members. We are currently planning the book launch evening at our local Waterstones store and this will be combined with a presentation of awards to local students who submitted entries to a competition for the best cover. We are also awarding prizes for a cover for our Halloween anthology to be published next year and for the best logo design to be used by our writers’ group . Prizes will be presented by the Director of the Stratford Literary Festival, Annie Ashworth.
As a result of producing the anthology we are in talks with local libraries to publicise and read from our anthology. We also have plans to take an active part in Stratford Literary Festival 2015.
Suddenly life has become even busier than it was before and I didn’t think that was possible!
Looking back, it wasn’t that long ago when I wondered if our group would survive as we had a bit of a rebellion in the ranks. In one week I had four resignations of members, one because he wasn’t finding time to attend meetings and the others, well, let’s say disagreements over giving and receiving feedback. As a result of these events, we, as a group got together and wrote guidelines for what we would all like from feedback given by fellow members. This is now prominent on our website so everyone can see what is expected before coming along to meetings.
This group has grown like Topsy. When I started it, I never imagined that within a few years we would have so many members, a formal Committee, one anthology published and another in the planning stages. As with all groups, it is thanks to a small core of hard-working people that Bardstown Writers has flourished and continues to do so. I wonder where we will be in another few years’ time.