Everyone welcome at writers group
Dear Editor:As the volunteer moderator of the Aspen Writers’ Foundation Weekly Writers Group and a board member of AWF, I was disheartened to read Gordon West’s letter of Sept. 5. Having met every Tuesday night for over ten years, the writers group is a forum that invites all writers to bring excerpts of their work to be shared and critiqued with fellow writers in a both nurturing and honest environment. Any given Tuesday one might find a mix of regular attendees to out-of-town visitors here for the week to a local high school student. We are open to all genres of writing embracing fiction, poetry, lyric writing, magazine writing and memoirs among others. All writers are given equal weight in the examination of their work.Mr. West feels that he was unacknowledged at the meeting he attended and for that I apologize. We always introduce around the table before the meeting starts at 7 p.m. Perhaps he arrived after we had started in which case our practice is to continue with the writer who is reading rather than stop to make further introductions. We then introduce the new arrivals when their turn comes up. As to Mr. West having to share a copy of what was being read, we try to make enough copies for the number of people present that night, although there is always some sharing in order to cut down on waste.Since its inception in 1976, the Aspen Writers’ Foundation has focused on education, involving and supporting young writers in its year-round programs. Our commitment to tomorrow’s writers takes shape in the Scribes & Scribblers creative writing camps held in Aspen and Basalt; Writers in the Schools educational outreach program to schools of the Roaring Fork Valley; support of the Aspen High School and Basalt High School literary magazines; discounted and complimentary event tickets for students; local scholarships to workshops and camps; and of course, our open door policy at the Weekly Writers Group.We welcome the younger generation of writers and the fresh voices the literary world needs to stay current and alive. I invite Mr. West to give the Tuesday night group another try. We would love to hear what he has to say.Cathy O’ConnellAspen
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