Let the words flow with this friendly and supportive group
Expressing ourselves through words is fundamental to being human. Words can be beautiful, dark, ugly, exciting and sad. They can tell stories and convey information.
Writing is an incredible way of processing your thoughts and archiving your memories, so when I heard about Manchester Women Writers I was more than happy to let Heidi from the group have a line or two on our 4Manchester Women blog.
Something rather extraordinary occurs every week on a seemingly ordinary Tuesday morning in the centre of Manchester. Around a table, occupied by various women of all ages, words are shared. Now this may sound like a usual city meeting, but no, the ‘words’ shared are the creations crafted from the minds, hearts and life experiences of this gathering of lovely ladies!
Welcome to the ‘Manchester Women Writers’
There is a smattering of writing groups across the city; creative writing among the possible activities of those seeking an outlet for their imagination, but what makes this group particularly rich is the treasures that are uncovered and displayed from week to week.
There are poets, prose writers, novelists, short story contributors, and screen/radio scriptwriters – their pieces being composed and/or spoken aloud in that room.
The wide mix of literary morsels is incredibly diverse and anything is welcomed! The opportunities to read, all jackanory-like, to an interested and supportive audience, and to receive feedback to inspire, explore, and to aid the writing process is part of the experience.
If that last line makes you take a deep breath in you are not alone. It takes courage and guts to share written creative work and there is something about the group of women who have woven their way together that is deeply supportive.
This is a serious collection of women writers
Not ‘serious’ in a tut-tutting manner and a poking around at the edges of what is written in an attempt to undo, but ‘serious’ in their intent. Serious in the fact that they are quite frankly, a bloody amazing, wondrously rich, juicily inspiring group! A little like gathering in a kind of ‘How to make an American quilt’ way, minus the knitting and southern drawls (though if these are your forte well please step right up and grab a chair!!).
There is laughter too, often lots of it, and sometimes cake, with all the necessary ingredients for a hearty gathering!
Once a month is topic day; an opportunity to learn something related to the art and craft of writing. Anyone from the group can choose to facilitate the workshop, and with information plus a writing exercise, new skills and understanding can ripen one’s work.
Nothing to share yet or scared to read aloud? No worries. There is no pressure to bring something. You are welcomed just as you are and simply hearing others’ gifts can sow seeds to inspire and inform.
So who are we?
We are octogenarians, and twenty-somethings.
South Africans, and local Mancunian lasses.
Artists and mothers.
Published authors and absolute beginners.
And perhaps, just maybe, we are you too.
If your interest has been piqued and you would like to take a peek, then do please join us. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. A small donation of £2.00 pays for the room, but the cost of these women’s friendship, literary wonders and enthusiasm? Priceless!
Photographs: Manchester Women Writers, Flickr via Creative Commons – click on the individual images for more information.