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About The Litchfield Community Writers Group

The Litchfield Community Writers Group began in the summer of 2005, when a group of writers who were all students of Debbie Devins’ Creative Writing classes first got together to further pursue their interests in writing. The members of the group have a wide range of interests, including poetry, short stories, essays, historical fiction, and autobiographical works.

Monthly Get-Togethers

Currently, the group meets on the second Wednesday of each month between September and June (no meetings during the summer months). We meet at St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 837 Charles Street Torrington Connecticut (driving directions are here ). Our meetings normally run from 6:30pm. Until about 9:00pm.  During these casual get-togethers, we generally read from our works, completed and in-progress; we trade respectful and constructive feedback to each other writings; and we discuss writing-related subjects in general. Periodically, we also have a short, interesting writing exercise at the beginnings of our meeting.

Other Activities

Our members stay in contract with each other, mostly by email, to trade ideas, share written work and feedback, as well as provide mutual support and encouragement to keep our interest in writing going The Litchfield Community Writers Group publishes an annual book encompassing a current collection of their favorite works. The material for the book is collected in early fall; the book is then edited; reviewed by the group; and publication is planned in time for the holidays. All members of the group are encouraged to contribute some material. We have a tradition of an annual social event, a post-holiday dinner usually scheduled on a mid-winter or spring weekend or a summer picnic. Over the years, we have invited Debbie Devins and other writers to conduct Writing Workshops for our group. Our group has also gone a field trip to a local art museum to inspire Ekphrastic poetry.

New Members

Carefully bringing in new members is a positive process for keeping fresh ideas and writing flowing into the group and for maintaining a comfortable level of activity at our get-togethers, given that not all members may be able to attend or write every month. Having been an alumnus of one of Debbie Devins’ classes is a nice guideline for new members, but is no longer an absolute criterion. Diversity in personal backgrounds and in writing genres and styles has been a hallmark of our group since its beginning. We also value maintaining a strong level of trust and acceptance among our members. It is therefore important that all members work to establish a level of familiarity, understanding, and sensitivity to each other's goals and approaches to writing. For new members, the group promotes an informal "comfort/acceptance" period, during which all members, new and old, are encouraged to go out of their way to meet each other at our get-togethers, and/or establish an email dialog together. This early effort at getting-to-know one another should help everyone to establish a good level of trust and acceptance, as well as allowing the new members and the group to best judge if there is a “right fit” for all.

Feedback

Open and constructive feedback is very important for our group, as is the voluntary, comfortable participation of all our members. So, we insist that all feedback take into account the writer's intentions, support the writer's individual goals, and that it be respectfully offered and accepted. Members sharing their work with the group should be active and specific in asking for the kind of feedback that they are looking for, especially when newer members are involved. Objective aspects of feedback (punctuation, tense, etc.) also should not be overlooked, but even there, the intended style of the writer and the need for respectful feedback remains important.

Participation

Active participation in the group is especially encouraged as we all hope to get support, encouragement, advice, and inspiration from one another. If others are writing and exchanging ideas, one is more likely to write themselves. Conversely, if others are not, too often one feels more justified in neglecting their own cherished writing life. Sharing writings while our attending monthly get-togethers is an important aspect of group participation, helping us to know each other better as writers, and allowing us to provide good, direct feedback. Realistically, other commitments may prevent anyone from being able to attend every get-together or do as much writing as they would like. Still, members should try to maintain their participation in the group by sharing ideas and works via email with the other members either individually or with the group as a whole. Active participation is especially important for new members during the informal "comfort/acceptance" period for all to get become better acquainted as writers.

Questions and ideas regarding the Litchfield Community Writers Group should be directed to: Roy Wnek, wnekr@litchfieldwriters.org

Directions

From the North:

1. Take CT – Route 8 South

2. Take exit 45 for Winsted Road (.4 mi)

3. Turn right at Winsted Road (.3 mi)

4 Turn right at Kennedy Drive (1.1 mi)

5. Turn right at Torringford W Street (.1 mi)

6. Enter from Torringford W Street or turn Right on Charles Street.

From the South:

1. Take CT – Route 8 North

2. Take exit 45 for Kennedy Drive (.2 mi)

3. Turn right off ramp on to Kennedy Drive (1.0 mi)

5. Turn right at Torringford W Street (.1 mi)

6. Enter from Torringford W Street or turn Right on Charles Street.

From the East (Hartford):

1. Take I-84 West, exit 39 Farmington – State Hwy 4

2. Follow Rt 4 through Farmington, Burlington and Harwington (approx 18 miles)

3. Watch for left turn along Farmington River(still route 4)

4. Turn right (still route 4) on Birge Park Rd/CT-4 (3.1 mi)

5. Turn right at Torringford W St. (1.0 mi)

6. Continue straight at four corner with Dunkin Donuts on right.

7. Church on corner of Torrington W St/Charles Street.

From the East (Canton or New Hartford):

1. Take Route 202 West

2. Near Applebee’s turn right at Dibble Street (.4 mi)

3. Turn left at Torringford W St (.1 mi)4. Church on corner of Torrington W St/Charles Street.

From the West (Goshen)

1. Take Route 4 East

2. In Torrington, continue up East Main Street hill, route 202. (don’t follow rt 4 as it turns right off E. Main Street)

3. Turn right at Torringford W St. (.3 mi) Dunkin Donuts on right

4. Church on corner of Torrington W St/Charles Street.