In 2010 my friend and fellow writer, Mary Dowling walked in to our beloved local library, the Thayer Memorial Library in Lancaster, Massachusetts, and suggested to the equally beloved Assistant Director, Nancy Hayes Clune (now supervising two branch libraries in Springfield, go Nancy!), that maybe, just maybe, there might be enough interest to get a writers’ group going. Mary is an alum of Amherst Writers and Artists, a group dedicated to the idea that we all have stories tell, and that by providing a safe, supportive, non-hierarchical environment, writers at every level of experience would feel free to share their work and to encourage the work of others.
Mary was right. In fact, there was more than enough interest. And from that first group, gathered that fall at the roundtable downstairs at TML, grew the idea for the Seven Bridge Writers’ Collaborative. Seven years later, operating under the auspices of Thayer Memorial (and the present, fabulously kind and patient Assistant Director, Karen Silverthorn), SBWC offers multiple programs, including: creative writing groups, open mics, and an ongoing schedule of workshops, classes, and panel discussions featuring authors, agents, and others working professionally in the field.
Writing is lonely work, and the only thing a writer needs more than isolation and time, is the company of other writers. Encouragement, honest feedback, a fresh eye (or ear), commiseration even, a hand out of the creative muck; these things are gifts from one artist to another. And there is no more fertile ground than a group of writers joined together to learn from each other and explore their craft.
With that in mind, the new sevenbridge.org website is designed to keep local writers informed of our programs and services, to provide a platform for observation and discussion, and to offer a window on the wider literary and artistic world.
Like Candide, Voltaire’s besieged protagonist, we believe that cultivating our own garden is the best way to serve ourselves as people, as writers, and as members of a wider, cultural community. We hope that you will join us.
Come on, pick up a spade….