Saturday, January 21, 2006
The Steamboat Writers Group appreciates the coverage of our Thursday meeting (Sunday Style, Jan. 15), but my phone has been ringing and e-mails piling up. So, as longtime, unofficial leader of the Steamboat Writers Group, I'll offer two thoughts that limited space prohibited but that we think are very important.
As part of the Steamboat Springs Arts Council for the past 24 years, we have always welcomed and encouraged individuals from every avenue of the community. We're open to all, and whether beginner or seasoned, new writers have continually rejuvenated our Thursday writers group.
Also, what we all found missing in Sunday's article was the one thing that has kept our group going. I'm not sure, myself, what to call it other than a sense of being comfortable with people who understand. There are not many places where a sensitive first-timer can step into unconditional acceptance while, at the same time, a seasoned veteran stands up to the highest standard of excellence. We take pride in our ability to accomplish exactly that.
Actually, the Steamboat Writers Group is the perfect place for a beginner to share those first difficult steps into full exposure without fear of falling or failing. We learn from one another that there is no failure in writing, only getting better.
We wish your reporter could have stayed longer than 20 minutes of our two-hour session. Then she would have heard what followed tough analysis of four very experienced writers. As usual, a variety of work offered different degrees of expertise. Our newest participant relaxed as she received gentle encouragement, her smile of satisfaction revealed in the picture that accompanied Sunday's article. A poet received help in connecting a tender last line about the "present's presence," and an essayist read about moving and adapting to new places. Serious critique was offset with warm laughter, and all paused to enjoy the chocolate sent from New York by a writer who missed her Thursday friends. Even those who didn't have anything to read left with renewed purpose.
So, to those readers who might be interested: If you're a writer who would like to get published or if you simply enjoy writing and would like to meet others who put thoughts on paper, simply walk in to the Depot Art Center next Thursday, look around for Steamboat's very own Algonquin, check us out, and stay as long as you like. We'll make a place for you at our table, and you'll know you are welcome.