Writing is a divine calling…embrace it.
Writing is a craft…develop it.
These three statements comprised the heart of our recent Writer’s Seminar in Sturbridge , Massachusetts. As writers gathered from across New England, we shared, learned, and grew together as a writing community. My thanks to the many who attended and contributed to its success!
Is it important to come together, support, dialogue, and reflect on our craft?
Yes…the results can be significant!
Just look at the influence of these historical literary groups…
The Inklings were a writers’ group in Oxford, England which included C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, Charles Williams, and Hugo Dyson. The main purpose of their meetings was to read and discuss their unfinished works. From late 1933, they met on Thursday evenings at Lewis’s college rooms at Magdalen College. They also gathered informally during lunchtime at various Oxford pubs, especially the Eagle and Child. The first draft of Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe appeared at one of these meetings.
The Bloomsburg Group
The Bloomsburg Group was an influential group of English writers, intellectuals, philosophers and artists. Its famous members included Virginia Woolf, John Maynard Keynes, E.M. Forster, and Lytton Strachley. Although not a formal literary group, they lived, worked or studied together near Bloomsbury, London during the first half of the 20th century. They influenced literature and culture by promoting each other’s work and careers.
The Algonquin Round Table
The Algonquin Round Table met in New York City at the Algonquin Hotel from 1919 until 1929. The group consisted of writers, critics, actors and wits including Art Samuels, Charles MacArthur, Harpo Marx, Dorothy Parker, and Alexander Woolcott. Calling themselves “The Vicious Circle”, they engaged in wisecracks, wordplay and witticisms that appeared in newspaper columns. Collaborating creatively, the Round Table and a number of its members acquired national reputations, both for their contributions to literature and for their sparkling wit.
Shakespeare and Company
Shakespeare and Company is the name of a bookstore on Paris’s Left Bank. During the 1920s, it was a gathering place for writers and artists like Ezra Pound, Ernest Hemingway, and James Joyce. It was nicknamed “Stratford-on-Odéon” by James Joyce, who used the bookstore as his office.
A group of liberal thinkers, these 19th Century writers met occasionally as members of the Transcendental Club. Noted participants included Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Frederic Henry Hedge, George Ripley and George Putnam.
While we may not have the renown of these impressive collaborators, we do share the gift, the calling, and the passion for the written word. So, thank you again New England writers who participated in the recent Writer’s Seminar.
Remember…you are a writer!
(pictures and information from Wikipedia)
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