What does your writers group do for you?

I am blessed with two fantastic writer’s groups.

Here is why:
My writer’s group members show up–and when I say show up

  • his car broke down (like it’s not gonna move at all without serious work)-John called Eric and they both made it, leaving the car on the side of the road until later
  • I showed up the day before I gave birth
  • Marie came on her daughter’s birthday
  • Kacie and Ali both drive from “Way the Hell Away” to get there every Sunday
  • Mary was recovering from pneumonia and still showed up at last night’s CWC meeting
  • Fred showed up every single meeting, through blizzards and storms until he died–death was the only thing keeping him away

Everyone has shown up on their birthdays, sick, tired, grouchy, whatever. They always have their critiques done and most times have produced new work for others to read. Employers would give their eye teeth for this kind of loyalty.

And last night here was the kicker:

Locked out of Panera because it was Memorial Day, Ali, Shane, Deb, and I all waited outside–in the rain–for recovering-from-pneumonia Mary so that we could come up with an alternative meeting place. We go to On the Border. We’re halfway through the critiques–Mary’s short stories–and the power goes out.

Do we stop?


There, in the dark, with everyone else and their brother listening, we continue to critique in near-pitch blackness. The only light came from the outside cars passing by. The waiters were wondering what the hell was wrong with us…but they had to stay and clean by the light of their cell phones, so I don’t think we had it the worst.

So we finished critiquing Mary in the dark and did all of Shane’s. Someone at another table brought us an oil/candle/lamp thing that did nothing to illuminate pages (we probably would have set the whole place on fire if we tried to read our notes by open flame). It was a nice gesture though. I’m sure they were amused by our discussions of gutted antelope, witch burnings, and wife battering.


jenny maloney View All →

Jenny writes dark fiction that her mother hates. Her stories and essays have appeared in Across the Margin, Pantheon, Shimmer, Black Denim Lit, Skive, and others. When she’s not writing her own stuff, she’s reading mysteries for Criminal Element. When she’s not writing fiction or reviews, she’s writing/directing/performing/designing plays at Springs Ensemble Theatre.

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