Monday, December 6, 2010

Writing Community

The BookEnds Twelve Days of Bookmas clue for the day

Shippensburg Provost


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Patricia Stoltey reads from The Desert Hedge Murders

All over the country there are vibrant pockets of writers who have come together to connect and network. Many such studios are associated with Universities and offer a variety of programs, tools, and support for student writers. Online writing communities abound as well. However, there are a few brick-and-mortar studios open to all writers, of any age. Most have an online component as well. Places like Redbird Studio in Milwaukee and The Writers Place in Kansas City. And, lucky lucky me, the Northern Colorado Writers organization right here in Fort Collins. I’m pretty sure I must have mentioned it on Hearth Cricket before.

Kerrie Flanagan is the driving force behind NCW, and she has a great support staff. She says, “The purpose of NCW is to encourage and support writers of all levels and genres on their journey to writing success.” And to that end there is an extensive member website with chat rooms for virtual meetings, a physical studio with wi-fi, tea, coffee, snacks, copier, printer, and a creative vibe in the air. There’s room for critique groups to meet and to teach the frequent and varied classes. There are member coffees and lots of opportunities to network about marketing. In the spring there is a writing conference with agents, editors, speakers and workshops galore.

I wrote a good chunk of Wined and Died at the studio, as a matter of fact. It was like going to the office when too many projects at home tried to snag my attention. My basement office has three doors, and that means three times the opportunity to escape.


This weekend Patricia Stoltey, Ellen Javernick and I read at the Northern Colorado Writers Holiday Mart. Shoppers perused the many offerings Kerrie and her crew had gathered, many of which were writing related, and then paused as each of us gave a quick reading and answered a few questions before signing.

I scored a Christmas present in Ellen’s Birthday Pet, got to see Patricia after I don’t know how long, check in with Kerrie, talk with a friend’s daughter who is an aspiring writer, and reconnect with Jenny, as well as pick up a few final stocking stuffers.

And then there are these:

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Michelle Mach is a writer and a jewelry designer. For the holiday mart she created several sets of earrings based on books. How cool is that?

If you can recommend other writing communities, please leave a comment to let us know. I’ll compile a reference list and post it on the site.


  1. Thanks for the mention! I had fun hearing you and the others read while I hung out at the holiday sale.

    NCW is fantastic, and so is Kerrie.

    I didn't buy any earrings this time, but I had Michelle make me a custom bookmark. It's so much classier than the grocery receipts I usually use.

  2. I bet the bookmark is terrific. But at least the grocery receipts saved you from dog-earing pages ; )

  3. Awk! I wasn't expecting to see myself when I dropped by to catch up at Hearth Cricket. I look so serious. I must have been reading the part about the body in the tub. :)

    NCW is great, Kerrie a gem, and the Holiday Mart was lots of fun. It was good to see you there, Cricket. I have my new earrings, too. Michelle is very talented.

  4. Thanks, Cricket! Just getting caught up on the blogs--it's been a pretty hectic holiday season. I'm glad you enjoyed the earrings. Looking forward to reading your new book next year!