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