I am fortunate to belong to a great community of writers that has its roots in the Humber School of Creative Writing, on the student website where we all chattered throughout those 8 months in 2006. A group of us decided to continue email contact, rather than suffer the serious consequences of withdrawal, and the main part of that group has stuck together ever since. Along the way, we have picked up various other interested, and emerging, writers I’ve met through courses I took in the Ryerson Publishing Programme and Creative Writing Dept., through my membership in Mystery Ink, last summer’s Fernie Writers’ Conference, and my long-time friendship with a Calgary bookseller (the lone non-writer amongst us, but in my opinion, the best bookseller in the world!). As a group, we all generally share information, discuss ideas, and help each other with our careers as writers. But the best part of all is that we each have this great squad of cheerleaders, congratulating, encouraging and supporting us every step of the way. No one could ask for a better group of women in this journey through life. And yet many of us have only ever met in cyber-space.
Take Darcie Hossack, ferinstance… An excellent writer whose first exchange with me on Humber’s student web-board concerned food, and not our writing at all. Ever since, we’ve exchanged emails regularly, sometimes 5-6 times a day, and yet we have never set eyes on each other, in the flesh, and have spoken on the phone less than a dozen times in all these years. Yet we might as well be living right next door to each other. When we finally do meet, we believe that historic occasion will provide us with a fitting conclusion to the cookbook on which we’re collaborating. In the meantime, though, Darcie did exactly what we all expected she would do – in being the first of our group to land a book contract! Now she’s blogging about the experience of having her first book published. Check that out here, and make sure to read her post of Jan. 5th about her experience of belonging to this writing group.
As well, other members of our group, Teri and Lisa, have also recently been contracted, or contacted by an editor, to publish books in 2010. They too have begun posting to their blogs about this experience. Vicky is finishing her thesis in the UBC MFA programme this spring, and I have no doubt that she will soon be following the others’ lead in having her novel picked up for publication. She “promises” us that she’ll be updating her blog on a regular basis… soon. (Get with it, Miss Vicksters!!)
It will be very interesting to follow these four women as they head towards the finish line that the rest of us are still dreaming of for our own writing – publication. You go, Writers! Congratulations to all!