May Writers Guild Meeting Recap

By Linda Donaldson

The turnout of 15 members this month yielded several new members and an abundance of work to discuss – six excerpts were shared!

We introduced new two-sided tent card name signs printed in a large font. Placed on the tables in front of each member, they work better than small name tags in allowing us to all get to know each other better. Your name signs are ready and waiting for the June 19th meeting.

Members were encouraged to register on our blog http://www.psbwritingcenter.org and become a follower in order to be sure to be notified when new posts are added. It only requires creating a free Word Press login with a unique user name and password. Then you won’t miss any of our great content.

Anne Kaler shared information about the books we have shepherded through CreateSpace under the mantle of Writing Center Press. Examples of the four publications that were handed around spanned several genres: essays, memoir, non-fiction and a novel.

On Monday, May 9th, the Pearl S. Buck Volunteer Association held their annual Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon and a number of the Writers Guild editors and workshop presenters were in attendance.

WC editors 5

Writing Center participants, left to right, Susan Wagner, Anne Kaler, Cindy Louden, Sandy Cody, Linda Wisniewski and Linda Donaldson.

I was quite surprised when, among so many other worthy volunteer docents, archivists, and gift shop staff, I was honored for my efforts with the Writing Center’s Guild newsletter and blog, workshop presentations, and publication design. It was with great pride that I shared the lovely certificate I received that day with our group.

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Pearl S. Buck Writing Center Volunteer of the Year award certificate.

Next we opened the meeting to sharing excerpts. A new member, Ralph Rhodes, shared the initial chapter of his historical biography. Lively discussion of plotting, use of sensory information and cadence in prose ensued.

Brigitte Rogers, also a new member, brought us a young-adult story, rich in a compelling inner monologue style, that sparked comments about how much illustration is appropriate for pre-teen readers who like chapter vs. picture books.

We all were transported to the future in Joel Mendez’s sci-fi story set in Lynn, Massachusetts in the mid-21st century. Pacing, dialogue and plotting were examined, as we absorbed this dystopian world.

The next chapter from Jane Bleam took us back to the WWII era from the eyes of a child. Filled with both humorous and serious moments, this story makes the reader want to learn more about this family.

Laughter rang out as Betsy Kennedy read the first chapter of her murder mystery. The narrator’s snappy asides and spot-on dialogue with colorful characters were universally enjoyed.

The final selection from Meredith Betz was a memoir that recounted another child’s memories, this time on summer vacations with Grandma in Wildwood. Capturing the dialogue and descriptions of surroundings, the stage was set for lifelike reminiscences.

We’ll have a sign-up sheet at the next meeting for those who bring work to share. Please remember to make 15 copies of anything you bring. Contact me to make copies only if you have no access to a printer. Limit excerpts to 3 or 4 pages, please, and put your email address near your name. Some of us read slowly, or prefer to take more time and reply to you with suggestions via email.

Reluctantly, we concluded at 3:30pm. Be sure to mark your calendar for 1:30 pm on June 19th! Hope to see you all there!

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