In a quiet corner of the Stettler Public Library, a group of eight people sat around a table engaged in discussion, debating what should they write on as they flipped through journals and went through pages of crossword puzzles to come up with word suggestions.
This is the Stettler Writers’ Group that comes together last Thursday of every month to bring to light what they have written since their last meeting.
According to Gail Peterson, the longest member of the group, there have been at least three or four writing groups in the past 30 some years. But the current group has been together for around seven years.
Members of the group agree to work on a piece of writing limited by certain word choices or genre. This is read out in the following session, with each person mentioning what they had selected as their genre or word combinations.
“We wax and wane with sometimes only two to six members, although tonight there have been 11 writers,” said Peterson. “We meet to share, encourage, and hopefully inspire!”
There are no formal requirements to join the group, besides love for the written word. Written pieces by fellow members are gently critiqued, and one can abstain from reading the written assignment aloud.
The group is just a forum for the community to engage in creating new work and practicing their writing skills.
All levels are encouraged, explained Peterson, and mentioned a unique experience where a member progressed from struggling to write a few words at a time to full-length paragraphs, strung well together.
“There was a member who had noticeably enhanced her literacy skills over the course of a few years,” said Peterson. “She went form one to two short sentences to entire paragraphs filled with detail and colour.”