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If You Write....

If You Write…

"If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” - Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

Hello from Caversham Writers! While Alex and Fourbears Books are here to help you with the first part of King’s advice, at Caversham Writers we aim to help with the second part: the writing.

Writing is a bit like drug addiction. You send yourself off into other worlds and at some point you'll need the support of friends. We can be your friends. But don't expect an intervention, we’re your enablers.

We feed our habit every Wednesday with events that vary from week to week:

  • Writing Events

Of course, our core meeting is a writing session. These alternate between prompted sessions, in which I set a prompt or starting point for you to follow; and unprompted, in which you can carry on with your current work in progress, or start a new project. At these writing sessions, we’ll often share some of what we have written (or if not, discuss how we’re getting on) but you’re not obliged to do so. Only share what you feel comfortable with.

  • Feedback Events

If you do want to share some of your writing, we have meetings dedicated to that too. In Writeshare Night, we offer members the opportunity to read out to the rest of the group a piece of their writing - a short story, a chapter from a longer work, a poem or two. Members can then get some instant feedback from their peers.

For some more formal and considered critique, we also have a feedback event where members can submit a longer piece in advance of the meeting and ask members some specific questions about the sort of feedback they are looking for.

  • Social Events

We have a regular ‘Writes & Bites’ event where we meet up at a local restaurant and get to know each other (and our writing) a little better. We also have occasional Bookshare Nights where we discuss our favourite books and how they might influence what or how we write.

  • Author Events

Last year I was thrilled to interview some wonderful local authors about their writing process, their books and their path to publication. Anita Frank (author of The Lost Ones) came along to talk to us about her new novel The Return and Rupal Patel inspired us all by talking about her book on leadership and personal development, From CIA To CEO. I hope to hold many more events like this in 2023.

Caversham Writers started in 2018, when Canadian author Crystal Bourque (you can also find her on Instagram and Facebook) hosted the inaugural meeting in Caversham’s Costa Coffee. One of the first things Crystal told us was “if you write, you’re a writer”. And it doesn’t matter what you write (fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, journaling), or who you write for (just for yourself? Great!) - you’ll fit right in and be welcomed.

When Crystal returned to Canada in 2019 I took over running the group and that foundational message is usually the first thing I say when greeting new members. If you write, you’re a writer and that means we are open to all, whatever your level of experience. We welcome absolute beginners and published professionals alike. If you’re an aspiring author or an enthusiastic hobbyist with no intention of getting published, no worries. All you need is an interest in writing and a desire to write.

We meet both in person and online via Zoom (during lockdown we were joined by writers all over the world and many of them still add their voices to the group).

Which brings us back to Fourbears Books. Alex is kind enough to have us in the bookshop for many of our events, usually the writing sessions. He is such a great supporter of the local community and we are so grateful to him. And what better place to write than in a wonderful independent bookshop, surrounded and inspired by books, books and more books!

If you would like a regular fix of writing, you can join Caversham Writers for free on Meetup. We usually have our events and meetings posted a few weeks in advance there, so see what takes your fancy and come meet the gang! Oh, and all of our regular meetings are free too - no event or admin fee!

What do YOU want to write?


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