This week I told my beloved Towcester Writers Group that I am leaving. Tuesday was my final meeting as (founding) Chair, and it was quite an emotional evening.
Don't panic, I'm not quitting. I still count myself as a writer, and will really feel the loss of being Chair here. Be reassured, though, that I am not giving up or bored of this wonderful group. I'm leaving for a positive reason: I have a new job... In this case, it means moving over 100 miles from Towcester to Bristol.
I have been Chair of Towcester Writers since January 2012, and have become so proud of this great group of people and the club we have constructed. The website gets around 100 views per week, and we do connect quite a bit on Facebook. Some of the members almost feel like family - I see them more frequently than some of my family, at least! We have poets, memoir writers, bloggers, comedy and crime writers, and a shared interest in cakes. Oh, sorry, writing. On many occasion I have laughed until I have cried at something written, but conversely felt the silence fall over a poignant, personal piece, bringing tears of another kind to our eyes.
These writers are talented. They are good people, loving and welcoming, old and young(er) - we don't have anyone under the age of 30, strangely, but they're always welcome! I love these guys!
Over the last 32 months (!!) I have planned a programme which I hope inspired and encouraged our writers. We've studied the writing process, had a fun evening learning how to create convincing character names, and I ran several workshops, including ones on getting the best out of social media and writing for a different perspective. We've had a few guest speakers - poets, writing mentors, other prose writers - meetings of which has been very interesting and encouraging. It's been beneficial to see beyond Towcester for the stories and skills of other (relatively) local writers. Most evenings for our group, however, are open mic sessions. The theme is set the month before, and 99% of the time people have stuck to it. I never fail to be amazed at the different stories which come from the same very simple prompt.
I want to say a special 'thanks' to Gilly, who was the person who originally approached me about starting a group. Her encouragement and belief in me started it all off, really, and our on-going friendship means a lot to me. Also, thanks to Kate at the library, who unfailingly lets us in and out of our venue, even in lambing season.
Towcester group is continuing after I leave (hooray!), so if you fancy going along to a warm, friendly group of varied talent and with different genres and walks of life, pop along one evening.
Third Wednesday of the month
Next meeting is Wednesday 19th November
Towcester Library, Richmond Road, Towcester, NN12 6EX
7.30 - 9.30pm
Take a look at the community on their Facebook page and give it a go! It's just £3 per session, which includes refreshments.
Towcester Writers: I will miss you. Take care, be happy, and keep writing!