Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Inspired by Persistence

This week, I will be sending out the call for submissions to all current and former Ban Righ Writing Group members. (That is, all the current members and all the former members that I can find! I am open to suggestions of former members that I may have missed.) I emailed a few former members before the holidays and all responded with support and enthusiasm, but I realize that there be some confusion as to what, exactly, UpStart Press is looking for.

So here is my attempt to explain it.

Like most projects, this one started as a flash of inspiration. I was walking through the cafeteria at work one day last winter and I felt, as I often do, pretty happy about my situation. I am one of those lucky souls who loves her job and her employer and I am very cheerfully and annoyingly proud to be a part of St Lawrence College and want to do everything I can to let it know how much I love it. (Let me temper this by letting you know I have worked for a few organizations I would happily watch burn to the ground and I spent nine months working for someone that would make Miranda Priestly look like an amateur. Perhaps some of my love for the college is in reaction to all the years I had to wait for something so good.)

Here's Miranda:

Coincidentally, I was also looking forward to my writing group meeting that evening--the group that gave me confidence in my writing, the motivation to get it published, and an introduction to my husband (and the other half of UpStart Press).

From there, things snowballed. You see, this writing group began as a creative writing course, taught by Bronwen Wallace, at St Lawrence College. It has lasted longer than any writing group I've heard of (most of my friends and acquaintances lament that their group only lasted a few months). It has spawned an impressive list of published and award-winning writers (as you will see when the book comes out).

This group is a testament to St Lawrence College and all it does for its community (and beyond), to the legacy of Bronwen Wallace as a mentor and teacher, to the generosity of all writers to each other, and to one of the finest qualities a person can have, persistence.

So, to all current and former members of the Ban Righ Writing Group, I ask you:

What has the Ban Righ Writing Group given you? Can you find some writing that represents that?

And if none of this makes any sense to you (or just need more to go on), please comment here or reply to my call for submissions and ask!