December 30th, 2011

The name says it all:  we’re an eclectic group of writers who meet weekly who are lucky enough to live in the arts-nurturing environment of Santa Fe, New Mexico.  Members write the gamut, fiction to poetry to nonfiction, but what ties us together is the commitment to our writing and supporting each other.

Thirteen years ago, the group started as a seven week course on writing and illustrating children’s books with Jennifer Owings Dewey.  Jennifer is one of those rare authors who can also draw beautifully (and has done one or the other for about 60 books), so we had a good head start.  Two years ago Jennifer moved to California, and we now take it in turns to “run” the group each week.

Our format is simple:  someone brings a prompt each week, we discuss it, and write for anywhere from forty-five minutes to an hour or more, depending on the number of people there.  We try to leave enough time for each person to read what they’ve written, with comments by the group following.  Some writers’ groups have rules about critiquing; some even refuse to allow much discussion.  Since we began as a “class,” we not only allow but encourage comments, but there are two precepts.

First, the discussion should begin with a positive.  Second, the criticism should be constructive.

There’s a third we try to live by as well, and I use the word “try” deliberately.  We try not to interfere with the story itself too much.  Sometimes we get excited and ideas come bubbling up – and some of us enjoy that process while others don’t.   Most of us have been in the group long enough that we tend to know who is tolerant of what! And when someone new joins, we try to make a safe place where we can learn about each other.  To be as long-term as we are, and we’ve weathered some ups and downs, respect for each person is paramount.

What underlies everything is that this is not just a cut-and-dry, read-what-you-got and isn’t-that-nice sort of group.  We support each other through the thick and thin not only of the writing life, but of life itself.  We’ve had one member die; a few, sorely missed, have moved away.  We’ve been through divorce, court cases, cancer, the birth of grandchildren, and weddings.  We’ve seen each others’ children grow up.

All of the above is by way of introduction.  Soon we will get some bios up.  Some of our blogs will be sharing our weekly prompts.   Some members want to share inspiration.  Some of us want to talk about our works, published and unpublished.

We hope you enjoy.

 

 

One Response to “The Santa Fe Writers Group”

  1. Barbara Mayfield says:

    I think you have really nailed the group energy, Deb. Many thanks for writing an excellent introduction. And for the fun time we had in
    your Writing Hut setting up the blog. xoxo B