About The Canandaigua Writers Group and Our Blog by Sally Crosiar It all started, according to Richie Smith, our group’s unofficial historian, with a writing workshop sponsored by Wood Library back in 2005. Would those attending like to meet again? Several did, and Cindy Brown took the lead until shortly before her death in 2006, giving us a legacy we continue to this day – monthly meetings that start and end on time! A workshop on publishing, also sponsored by the library, drew me into the group. I’m not a joiner by nature, but I needed an impetus to push me beyond thinking about writing into really doing it. And that’s exactly what this group has done for me. It helps me see myself as a writer – with a deadline. The group moved me past thinking I’d like to write a novel someday to actually do it! I’m not just a person who wants to write, I’m now a novelist – and that wouldn’t have happened without the Canandaigua Writers Group! The mix of people – and the mix of writing styles and subjects – makes each meeting fascinating. We came together as strangers who now know each other well through the memoirs, science fiction, essays, travel stories, poems, and snips of novels in all genres our members share. Some of us write purely for fun. Some have higher ambitions. At a typical meeting, 10-20 of us gather around a table. At every meeting a few folks read a 5-minute piece they’ve written, and then we give them 5 minutes of feedback. ‘Is that the word you really want to use?’ ‘What if you started with this paragraph instead of ending there?’ It’s thoughtful, and often, provocative conversation, but the underlying message is always, “Keep writing! You’ve really got something there!” As you read samples of the work in our blog, we’d appreciate your thoughtful feedback and comments as well. We’d like to know what you think! We welcome questions and suggestions that make our work shine brighter. We’re even prepared to hear you didn’t like a piece. We do ask, though, that you offer your thoughts in the same way we give feedback to each other. We attempt to en-courage, because we know that it does take courage to write. To face an empty page, to find words that express deeply held emotions, to put our words out there in the world for any and all to see; yikes, that’s scary! So please, be truthful. And also be kind. Help us have the courage to keep writing! And if you’ve hatched a plot that’s burning to become a book, or if you just need to, as Hemingway put it, ‘write it so you can get rid of it,’ join us. Social half-hour starts at 10AM, the first Friday of every month. We meet 10:30 AM-12:30 PM. If you can, join us for lunch afterward. We’d be honored to have you with us.