A fresh start for a new year

Now I am finally getting the hang of editing and uploading to this blog, I hope I’ll be able to make the posts relevant to writers interested in the group and writing news in general.

This Tuesday night (December 9th) will be our last workshop night for 2014. The dates for next year are listed on a separate page. Our last evening for the year is usually a fun affair. We play word games, perhaps write a story together or try our hand at flash fiction with crazy prompts. It’s an opportunity to socialise for longer than the short coffee breaks on regular nights. We also bring along a plate of food to share – to make a change from the regular biscuits – and my leftover apple cake the week after the Readings!

There is also the Kris Kringle of sorts – each member wraps up a book they have enjoyed reading – it can come from the bookshelf, or an op shop or the bargain bin of a bookshop; as long as it is a book worth reading for its entertainment value, literary merit and/or information about the craft of writing. This book swap allows us to clear our shelves and give pleasure to a fellow writer, perhaps introducing an author they have never read.

Currently, we are working on our next anthology – Mordialloc Writers’ Group will celebrate our 20 year anniversary next year. We hope to produce our traditional anthology, but also an E-book version. The working title at the moment is Kingston our City – and the contributing writers will write personal essays – a new experience for some who have concentrated on short stories, novels or poetry.

Contributors will write a personal essay, or list essay on what Kingston means to them. You don’t have to live in Kingston, just be connected in some way –– either in the past or present, and your reflections on this connection. (Birth, residency, schooling, work, regular visitor, holidays, tourist, hobbies, attending workshops, readings, festivals…) The personal essay explores free from any need to interpret whereas a memoir interprets, analyses and seeks the deeper meaning beneath the surface experience of particular events.

The personal essay is not as demanding as the personal memoir because it can be about almost anything, whereas the memoir tends to discuss past events. Memoir is similar to the personal essay, except that the memoir tends to focus more on significant or life-changing events. The personal essay can be a relatively light reflection about what’s going on in your life right now. You might want to just list 20 reasons why you love living or interacting with Kingston and/or its people, or pick a topic about your life here and follow the associative train of thought with the freedom to digress and circle back! Persuade and entertain the reader and hone your writing skills.

I’m looking forward to next year being a productive and enjoyable one for everyone at Mordialloc Writers’ Group – happy writing to all over the summer break.

It may be worthwhile reading some books or essays to help your understanding. The following are easily accessed online as inspiration and explanation:

Crafting the Personal Essay, A Guide for Writing & Publishing Creative Nonfiction by Dinty W. moore, Writers Digest and

Our Chicago, Eleven Writers On Their City
http://www.blurb.com/b/5321598-our-chicago-eleven-writers-on-their-city

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