Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Venerable Charlotte Writers' Club launches new season

"In those first days it was surprising to me that so many Charlotte men and women really were skillful writers. They had needed just the spur and the confidence which this club was able to give them."

--Adelia Kimball, in a 1928 Charlotte Observer story on the Charlotte Writers’ Club

In 1922, Kimball, a recent transplant from Massachusetts, organized a local writers’ club in Charlotte.

Nearly 90 years later, the Charlotte Writers’ Club, one of the city’s oldest clubs, remains an important resource for aspiring and established authors. On Tuesday, Sept. 20, the club kicks off a new season with a discussion of current publishing trends, including on-demand and e-publishing. If Kimball could only attend, she’d be amazed.

Still, much about the Charlotte Writers’ Club remains the same. With about 260 members, it continues to organize critique groups, where writers gather to read and review each others’ work. It also offers reasonably priced or free writing workshops.

Monthly meetings feature speakers, including authors, professors, literary agents and publishers, who discuss writing and literature from a range of perspectives.

Members include poets and novelists, memoirists, screenwriters, journalists. Some have published extensively. Some have never published. Most pursue their creative writing along with their day jobs.
Sherry Nadworny, for instance, works in public relations, but also writes fiction. She’d moved to Charlotte from Boston last year, sad to leave her writing group there.

Then she discovered the club and joined a critique group. “I found them to be incredibly welcoming, talented people,” she says. “It’s nice to have a group to help you get better. Everyone needs an editor.”
And maybe it’s just the gentility of the South, she says, but even when her critique members don’t like something about her work, “They say it in a lovely way.”

Want to know more?

The Charlotte Writers’ Club meets monthly September through May at Providence United Methodist Church, 2810 Providence Road.

Kevin Watson, founder of Winston-Salem’s Press 53, will discuss independent publishing at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 20.

‘The Tarball Chronicles’
In "The Tarball Chronicles” (Milkweed Editions; $24), UNC Wilmington’s David Gessner takes a journey “into the heart of the Gulf oil spill.” Publishers Weekly calls the work a “brilliant, thoughtful book.” It’s out on Sept. 19.