March 2016 meeting summary

By on 11/04/2016, in Meetings, Writing exercises

At this month’s meeting, we made some decisions that will affect future meetings, so please read through this post carefully.

Anthology update

The following OWL members were announced as sub-editors for the 2016 anthology, “Some Shape of Beauty”:

  • Audrey Camp – creative non-fiction and memoir
  • Sari Cunningham – poetry
  • Srividya Karthik – speculative fiction
  • Bree Switzer and Karen Havelin – literary fiction

If you intend to submit to this year’s anthology, please contact me (Zoë Harris) at zoe [at] and state which genre or format you intend to write and I will put you in touch with your sub-editor. You can also email me with any questions you might have. You will need to contact me by the end of April in order to be in consideration for publication this year.

Other dates to remember:

  • May 26 – first drafts completed and submitted to mentors for editing/revision
  • June 30 – final drafts submitted to mentors for final edits and submission to anthology editor (Zoë Harris)


We heard Maddie read her poem from the 2015 anthology, and Saroj read us an excerpt from the novel she is currently working on.

Discussion topic

This month we talked about carving out space and time for writing, what inspires us, and how we make room for creativity. Overall it was a really inspiring, positive discussion. Members shared their frustrations, constraints, and stumbling blocks, while others shared ways they overcome these hurdles.

We also discussed the value of writing retreats, and how communal writing can be motivating. The idea of a possible future OWL writing retreat was met with fear (of organizing it!) and excitement.

Useful links

It was also suggested that at the beginning of each meeting, when we do our round of intros, we speak about our current goals, and give progress reports on our writing to keep one another motivated. It was also suggested that each member bring along a small snippet of the writing they have done in the previous month and read it aloud. This would be no more than a couple of sentences, a paragraph at most. This was met with agreement all round, and we will start this activity at the May meeting.

Writing exercise

Audrey ran a writing exercise related to the necessity of empathy for writers. The following quote got things started (members could choose any one of the four scenarios).

Empathy is, first of all, an act of imagination, a storyteller’s art, and then a way of traveling from here to there. What is it like to be the old man silenced by a stroke, the young man facing the executioner, the woman walking across the border, the child on the roller coaster.

Rebecca Solnit, The Faraway Nearby

featured photo credit: Malcolm Gladwell Practice isn’t something you do once you’re good. It’s the thing you do that makes you good via photopin (license)