It all started with a simple writing prompt that went like this: “Think of a special memory pertaining to trees.” That was the theme of a creative writing workshop back in March sponsored by the Trees for Suffield Initiative. The workshop leader, writer Abby Wolcott, invited everybody to think of a tree-related memory to get their creative juices flowing.
I stared at my blank piece of paper. The last thing I wrote was probably a shopping list. Then I remembered the tiny tree behind my childhood home where my sister and I had secret tea parties. Could I turn that into a little story? After a half hour, we put down our pens and each person nervously shared what they wrote. Yes, they were rough, and some were far from finished. But each one reflected a little bit of the person who wrote it.
At that first workshop, two things happened that had nothing to do with creative writing. First, everybody left that evening feeling kind of brave. We did something way outside our comfort zone. Second, we wanted to try again.
When the three workshop sessions were over, we decided we hadn’t had enough and began to meet regularly at the big stone table in the library. We take turns bringing a tree-related writing prompt, share some thoughts and experiences and then set a timer and write. To be perfectly honest, our quick stories are still rough, but we talk about the parts we like and let them inspire even more ideas. It’s like a one-hour exercise class for the imagination. Some of us go home and polish up our drafts into something more finished. Some of us are just happy to save them in our notebooks.
If you like the idea of writing with a supportive group and want to give it a try, pull up a chair at the big table and join us. Ongoing monthly session dates can be found on the library’s website. If you’d be interested in a Creative Writing Workshop Series this winter, please get in touch to receive updates at email@example.com