Writing with Wood-Barrett 

Vicious Circle offers new writing workshop for beginners

click to enlarge Rebecca Wood-Barrett
  • Rebecca Wood-Barrett

What: Feeding the Seed: Growing the Brand New Writer

When: Every Wednesday evening, starting Jan. 28

Where: Spring Creek Elementary School

Cost: $120

Are you an aspiring wordsmith who wants to tell a story, but you just don’t know where to start? Well, the local writers club, better known around town as the Vicious Circle, has just the ticket. They’ve developed a special new workshop, designed with the novice writer in mind.

Stella Harvey helped found the Vicious Circle back in 2001, with a vision to provide the writers in the Sea to Sky area with a forum to develop their craft through networking and critique opportunities. They also aim to offer professional development opportunities, and grow the literary arts within the region.

“When we first started, it was a way to look at each others’ work and critique each others’ work,” Harvey explained.

Twenty-six people showed up to the first Vicious Circle meeting.

“It was incredible!” she said with a laugh.

Now, almost eight years later, the group has grown to include about 150 writers of all ages, levels and abilities, some of whom have actually left the area, but have continued to stay connected with the group. Group members share information about paid writing opportunities, competitions and other opportunities at their meetings.

“It keeps everyone connected, but after the first few years, we noticed there were people who weren’t doing a lot of writing or couldn’t submit work, and when you get to the point of critiquing work, it becomes a much more intimate kind of work,” Harvey explained.

Critiquing is, of course, a very personal exercise, and it’s better to have a consistent group of people giving feedback.

“We’ve started to sort of see that people have different purposes in mind. So the larger group meets on a quarterly basis, and really what we do is do some networking and some writing exercises,” she said. “Beyond the larger group, there are two critique groups that have formed, and those people meet once a month, and basically two or three people submit their work for review, and the rest of the group will read it and comment on it and then come together and comment on it.”

Now, they’re offering a new workshop, geared towards people who are new to the craft.


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