At least twice a month, something magical happens in Camden. That’s when the Camden Writers meet to critique one another’s work, share writing advice, and offer support. To say that I’ve learned a lot from this group is an understatement. Without them, I’d still be flagrantly using adverbs and overdoing what Mindy calls “Those Be Words.”
While we all enjoyed the social aspect of meeting with like-minded people, our group began to want something that would compel us to write and submit our work. We noticed that many of our entries centered on family, tradition, and the power of memory. Soon an idea was hatched to develop a communal document, and we published our first anthology, Serving Up Memory, in October 2014.
At one of the first meetings of 2015, one of our members suggested that we publish our collective work every other year and have a workshop in the intervening one. I could have hugged Ari Dickinson for that stroke of genius. Not only did it give all of us some breathing room, but it also provided an opportunity to tackle another project, one that would offer help, encouragement, and information to writers in South Carolina.
After months of planning, we have a date, a venue, and a splendid line up for our first Camden Writers’ Workshop. First One Word, Then Another will be held from 9:00 AM until 1:00 PM Saturday, September 26, 2015, on the downtown Camden campus of Central Carolina Technical College at 1125 Little Street. Late registration and a “mix and mingle” with light refreshments will take place at 8:30.
Two sets of concurrent one-hour sessions are scheduled. The first set includes Stories in a Box (Kathryn Etters Lovatt, Myra Yeatts, Douglas Wyant) and Family Histories and Memoirs (Brenda Bevan Remmes and S. Jane Gari). The second set includes Sparking Your Poem (Kim Blum-Hyclak) and From Stone to Gemstone: Revising, Editing, and Polishing Your Manuscript (Carla Damron).
We’re delighted that Bob Strother, who has published over eighty stories, will give the keynote address, Listening for the Story. Not only has he published eighty short stories in various magazines and literary journals, Bob is also the author of a collection of short stories, Scattered, Smothered, and Covered, and two novels, Shug’s Place and Burning Time. He’s won so many awards that enumerating them here is well nigh impossible.
Lunch will be provided by one of Camden’s popular sandwich shops. During the latter part of lunch, a panel will discuss publishing options in Writing, Submitting, and Publishing. Book signings, drawings, and several informative handouts are also planned.
Mark September 26th on your calendar, Fellow Writers. And tell a friend about this workshop, too. Let’s all do our part to encourage others to write First One Word, Then Another.
Jayne Padgett Bowers, a semi-retired educator, has published articles in Guideposts, The Petigru Review, and two LDS magazines, Ensign and Liahona. She is the author of Human Relations in Industry, Musings of a Missionary Mom, Eve’s Sisters, and Crossing the Bridge: Succeeding in a Community College and Beyond. Excited about self-publishing, Jayne is the interior designer of Serving Up Memory, the Camden Writers’ anthology. You can contact her for more information about this workshop at www.jaynebowers.com.