Seeking a Literary Community
- October 27, 2018
As writers, we spend long nights in dark rooms with glaring desktop screens and stalled fingertips. As readers, our eyes crust over long before we’re ready to put the book down and sleep – even then, the stories follow us into dreamland.
So many of us spend our time in isolation thinking – romantically, incorrectly – that this is how all the Greats write. Introversion has its perks, sure, but there’s a bigger world out there if you discard your recluse attire (fuzzy socks, baggy T-shirts) and socialize again.
The possibility that my words will be read is the encouragement I need to get out among a literary community: workshops; coffee dates with other writers; writing festivals and other literary events; book clubs; writing clubs; readings.
In the Creative Writing program, our communities come in the form of small classes. Portal is no exception – 20 people who keep me focused and encouraged, and that’s just on Tuesdays.
However, in 6 months, my VIU communities will expire and I will have to seek out others so I’ve made a shortlist of candidates like these:
- Portfolio: Who doesn’t love a good reading series? A monthly literary evening sponsored by Portal featuring select students in an opening act for a featured visiting author – fiction, nonfiction, poetry, script – refreshments
- Spoken Word Nanaimo: The third Thursday of every month. (https://www.facebook.com/nanaimospokenword/)
- Canzine Vancouver: Festival of Zines and Underground Culture hosted by Broken Pencil (https://brokenpencil.com/canzine/canzinevan/canzine-vancouver-events/) where attendees have to opportunity to interact with illustrators and authors
- Vancouver Writers Fest (https://writersfest.bc.ca/2018-festival-events/) rife with authors who are eager to pass on their knowledge.
I’m trying to approach my writing community in the right frame of mind (the first step was calling myself a Writer) by welcoming feedback and constructive criticism about how to turn my weaknesses into strengths, and how to not only grow, but flourish.
My ideal is a welcoming literary community of tough love, tougher support, and unending inspiration. So crawl out of the dark corners of your room and join Portal on November 15th, 2018 for a night of readings – more details to follow.
– Caileigh Broatch, Co-Managing Editor