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BEACON Senior News

Writers forum inspires plenty to write about

Oct 03, 2022 12:16PM ● By Jan Weeks

Writing, either for publication or pleasure, is a solitary endeavor. Writers sit at a keyboard or in front of a blank sheet of paper, and have to come up with a story or article. Deadlines really put the pressure on to finish, and sometime writers don’t have the luxury of staring at the screen or page for hours or waiting for inspiration to strike. 

Writers who aren’t on a deadline can take more time hoping to be inspired. Interacting with other writers can give your muse a kick in the rear to get in gear. If you want to stretch your mind and creativity, consider attending a Western Colorado Writers’ Forum (WCWF) meeting. The group meets on the first Tuesday of every month and hosts programs on all aspects of writing. 

“You don’t have to be a serious writer or desire to be published to enjoy the group energy and writing possibilities,” said Linda Skinner, a WCWF member since 2013.

In the seven years she’s been a member, Virginia Jensen has been to almost every WCWF event. Meeting other authors, attending programs and working with critique groups have all added to her abilities and pleasure in writing. 

“The critique groups have given me both confidence and breadth of technique. You learn about yourself and your style of writing, and when you share, you can see very specific areas where you excel and where you need to work,” said Jensen. 

Before returning to the Western Slope, Melody Jones worked with many writers in the Denver area as Vice President and Communications Chair for the Woman’s Press Club. Her energy brought new life to the almost-defunct writers forum when she became president in early 2022.

“I introduced myself to Linda (the interim president) and asked how I could help, and offered my social media expertise,” said Jones. “I really didn’t want to see [the group] shut down, so I threw my hat in the ring for president.”  

The group meets monthly for happy hour at the Ale House, and Writer Chicks, a weekly social group for women writers, meets at Main Street Bagels from 9-10:30 a.m. every Wednesday. 

Jones started the Western Colorado Writers Podcast, where its hosts chat with local, national and international writers about their work and creative process. New episodes drop the second Tuesday of every month on the forum’s website. 

“Like everyone, we are rebuilding after the world shut down,” Jones said. “While our Writer’s Nights are going strong and we’ve finally re-established a critique group, we’ve experienced financial challenges and the need for more volunteers and board members.”

Jones hopes to offer additional writing classes and bring back well-loved offerings like Write Out Loud, a performance writing showcase. 

The 501(c)(3) organization recently transitioned from a membership fee to a donation-only operation, which means it’s supported by volunteers, grants and donations from the writing community. Attendees may drop cash or checks into a basket at presentations or can donate online.

Sign up for WCWF’s newsletter at www.westerncoloradowriters.org. For more information, email [email protected] or call 970-822-7373.