17 April 2008

Writers' group

Business as usual: talk, papers, cakes! (Which means publishing success.) No starving in our garrets here!

Well, I have been superbusy with work this week, one of the bane's of teaching a new subject (but also one of the joys!), and so I'm way behind on my blog again. And I have had so much to post about, but I wanted to do one about writing groups first. Honestly, writing groups can be the saver of sanity for many of us -- a chance to get together and talk books and writing (hmm, there's a blog title in that somewhere), and the whole publishing process with people who understand, truly understand, the passion, the drive. What better way to spend a few hours than talking writing! We will workshop, talk about articles (on writing) we've read and any new insights we've gleaned. Something I love about writing is that no matter how much you already know, there's always so much more to learn! I love it! The day I think I know everything (which I hope will never come -- on several levels, I hope this) is the day I give up writing!

The cakes: celebration of Sherryl's CBC shortlisting (fingers crossed here!), and Margaret having poems accepted into two different magazines

We celebrate the triumphs, and commiserate over the failures. We toast the near-successes -- for example, when I was recently shortlisted for the Aurealis Awards. I didn't win, but just being shortlisted was a fantastic thing. And a success in itself. And (for any members of Western Women), yes, er, I do realise that I haven't brought a cake along for that yet! It's coming, I promise! We work on Poetrix, our poetry magazine -- and indeed did that last week and this week, where we finalised selections for the next issue. It's a rich and varied experience. In the old days, we used to do a writing exercise each week. Sometimes we still write, sometimes we plot out the group novel or read excerpts, sometimes we workshop, and sometimes we attend to our social calendars. In the next few weeks (including this week), our group has (or has had) a book launch, the launch of the Williamstown Literary Festival, lunch out, the launch of the Ada Cambridge exhibition, a literary dinner and performance, another book launch, the Williamstown Literary Festival. Lots of stuff happening. And it's great. Keeps us on our toes, and makes us feel part of a literary community.

The vagaries of publishing: a fantastic writer laments the size of her latest royalty statement

1 comment:

Sherryl said...

I think Margaret said her royalties were $4.50?
We told her, of course, not to spend it all at once! Except when your royalties are under a certain amount, they don't give you anything.