Thursday, April 07, 2005

Writing Group

I couldn’t post last night because I was with my writing group. There are three of us and we meet once a month to talk about what we’ve written. So far—and this was only our third meeting--we’ve been sharing fairly polished stuff, so the gloves are still on. Gloves or no, this is rapidly becoming one of the best things in my life and you can imagine why.

There are three of us, all about the same age, all teaching lots and lots of writing and literature classes, all women, all working hard to keep writing even during the semester. We like each other a lot and we love being in New York. But after that, there are lots of differences, enough to keep us happily entertained with the living of vicarious lives through one another.

We’re from the West Coast, the Midwest, and the Upper East Side. One of us lives alone and has a great boyfriend, one is married with a beloved toddler, and one lives with a longterm partner. One of us is writing, fiction one, criticism, the third, essays. One of us is reserved, the other two garrulous.

We meet in the elegant and dinky apartment of the single woman and drink lots of wine and eat wonderful food, including, this week, as a treat, a miniature quiche from Payard that restored my faith in both quiche and convenience food as a delicacy. We drink and gossip and eat and then, taking turns, go through one another’s pieces. We begin at 6. By 10:30, it’s time to head home, tipsy, delighted, inspired, exhausted. Never has the incredible slog from the Upper East Side to Jersey City seemed so fine.

A couple links worth checking out: I found this “Talking To” site (from the Times of London. It’s not active anymore, but it’s fascinating. Back in 2000, you could write in with your question for one of a handful of famous writers (Shakespeare, Woolf, Austen, Dickens) and a scholar would answer it in that writer’s voice, with quotations from his or her life. The questions are sweet and absurd and the answers seem pretty accurate.

Then, via the beloved (and especially hilarious lately somehow) Gawker, this from the Observer: a mock masthead for the masthead-averse New Yorker.


Dave Munger said...

Well, now you've posted about it twice, so you've made up for it ;)

Seriously, writing groups are awesome! Evening meetings are the best -- my group recently switched to the daytime, and since there's no drinking, it's not nearly as much fun. Still, I wouldn't leave the group for the world. These women have meant a tremendous amount to me -- and to my writing. Glad you've found a group, too!

Anne said...

Arrgh! At one point there were 3 versions of the same post (count 'em!): it comes of...well, tech troubles. Let's leave it at that.

Anyway, I'm still grinning and crossing my fingers that your book will find a happy home!

Anonymous said...

Hi from Barnes & Noble in Springfield.
I would like you to know about upcoming events and workshops that might interest you and your group. All events are free, open to the public and take place at our store at:
240 Rte. 22 West Springfield, NJ 07081

Please feel free to call me if you have questions or ideas. Thanks for your interest.

Writers Workshop
Tuesday, March 4, 2008 at 8:00 PM
Author and editor Carla Cantor and South Orange librarian Beth Halliday offer the opportunity to get into writing shape through timed exervises and discussion of work in progress. Give it a try to see all that you can do.

Celebrate Local Authors/ Open Mic
Friday, March 14, 2008 at : 7:00 PM
If your book is published and your looking to share it, contact for our anniversary celebration with local authors. Open mic for readings. Come one, come all.

SCBWI Critique Group for Children’s Writers
Third Tuesday of the month at 8:00 PM
Certified by SCBWI, this group is for thoses interested in writing and/or illustrating children’s books.

Writers Workshop
Third Thursday of the Month at 8:00 PM
Ongoing group meets to nurture and support each others’ work. Open to all.

Anonymous said...

I am looking for a writers group somewhere near myhme in fort lee. I am new to writing and would really like to be around like minds. How do I go about findign a group? help!