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Saturday Morning Writing Time, Part 1

By Charles Moffat.

So today was my last day going to a local writers group at my library here in Toronto. I am leaving the writers group because of the following reasons:

  1. The librarian who was responsible for running the writers group is leaving that library and switching to a different library in North York.
  2. The person replacing her is a cranky old lady named Marilynn who apparently hates me, is unnecessarily critical, and she has got upset because I brought my son to two of the meetings (my son is 16 months old, and I admit he can be a bit loud sometimes). While the librarian doesn't have a problem with me (or me sometimes bringing my son to meetings), it is pretty clear Marilynn doesn't want me there at all.
  3. If I was to show to future meetings I might get tempted to be overly critical Marilynn's poetry, which would combative and annoying, but frankly why bother? It just isn't worth it. I am not getting that much out of this group.
  4. To be honest, most of the time spent at these writing group meetings are used listening to other people's writing, doing writing exercises, and if I am lucky I might get 20 minutes to read something I wrote and get feedback on it. So there has to be a better way to get feedback on my writing.
  5. The group is somewhat crowded. On average about 10 people are there, but group size can vary from 8 to about 15 people depending on the day, time of year, weather conditions outside, whether it is a holiday, etc. This crowding puts the squeeze on time constraints at the meeting is only supposed to be 90 minutes, and often goes to 2 hours, at which point hungry people start leaving.
  6. You really do have to be early to get your work photocopied to be handed out and beat other people. Arriving late today I didn't even have a chance to submit my work to be photocopied.
  7. Listening to the drama and moanings of older women (most of them are between 40 to 80 years old) and the kind of writing they write gets rather boring after awhile. There are a few of them that can write things that are interesting and/or funny, but overall I cannot help but feel I am wasting two hours listening to the poetry and drama writing of middle-aged to elderly women as it rare there is another man present, and even more rare that there is someone under the age of 40 present.
  8. The group meets every two weeks on Saturdays, often on Saturdays when I am not available because I am working that day. So when I do get to go to these meetings, it can be rather discouraging if I don't get to go for awhile and then when I finally get to go I don't even get to read something I was hoping to share. It can be rather disappointing and frustrating.

So really what I need is something different...

A smaller writing group, perhaps 3 or 4 people, who preferably write fantasy, less formal, and the focus is on reading works and we can skip the whole writing exercises which to me feels like a waste of time.

Hence why I am proposing the following:

"Saturday Morning Writing Time"

I might change the name later. "The Fantasy, Fables and Poetry Writing Group"? I dunno. I need more time to work on a snappy title.

To take place at the local Starbucks on Bayview Avenue, north of Millwood Road.  Meetings start at 10:30 AM. Having them there at that time means people have had their breakfast, but if they get hungry they can still get food or drinks if they need to. It is a Starbucks after all.

Having only 3 to 4 people means everyone gets to share their work and get feedback on it.

Ideally I would like to find other people who are interested in fantasy, science fiction, fables, horror - shall we say the more nerdy side of writing. But that isn't to say I would be opposed to other topics.

What I did like about the writers group was that it forced me regularly to work with a deadline, to get pieces done that were a certain length, hence why I tended to write them in the form of fables, short stories and even poetry - and sometimes poetic fables. Sometimes I would write a single chapter from a longer work and present that. Having that deadline however helps to keep me productive, to get the writing done on time.

So to anyone in Toronto interested in joining, please contact me via charlesmoffat{atsymbol}charlesmoffat.com with the subject "Writers Group".

During meetings you will be asked to bring 4 copies of your work so you can share it with the other writers present, so they can write down edits, notes, feedback on your work and give it back to you.

I am going to ask my friend Meggles who went to university with me if she is interested in joining. She also writes more nerdy kind of works, including spy thrillers. Ooooo!

So if Meggles is available Saturday mornings and agrees then we only need 1 or 2 more people to turn this into a regular meeting.

I am hoping to have the first meeting in December 2018. To be determined.

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