23 June 2009

The writers workshop: summing up our 6th year

Yesterday evening marked our last writer's workshop for the season. After the meeting one member made the toast: "To a good year." I had to think for a moment. Has it been a good year?

On the whole, I have to say Yes. We started this September without one of our founding and most prolific members, who left Brussels to go back to the UK. We had one brand-new member and you never know how it's going to go no matter how well they present. Happily, ten months later, it is like this person has been with us for ages. The group has re-knit itself, once again.

And what have we accomplished? Well, one of our members put on the play that we'd workshopped from start to finish. Another organized/facilitated two very successful music-&-literature salons (that's a photo of me reading at the first one), apart from making significant headway into a long work of fiction. Yet another is in the final stages of setting up his own publishing company, a project that's been in the works for quite some time. Another had her second and third books published.

Oh, and we got to meet and read poems with Jackie Kay.

And while all of us have made strides into our work, in our various ways, it was fitting that we ended the season by reading the beginning of one member's completed first draft. For the past several years this member -- I'll call him J -- has been quietly submitting chapter after chapter of his memoir. Since he doesn't submit in chronological order, I didn't notice until he mentioned it that he'd finished the first draft. To have stuck with this project through to completion is (how I am learning this!) a real achievement.

Two somber notes. Leila will be leaving us for the green and pleasant land. She will be missed! And Lucy continues to fight cancer. Lucy, if you're reading this, know that we're thinking of you.


  1. isnt it great to think back and realize how much has been accomplished

  2. It was a little unnerving though to discover we had been meeting for 6 years.... Talk about kick in the butt!