Featuring members of the HML Writers and Oneonta Free Writers groups
HML Writers (Huntington Memorial Library) was first started in July of 2014, using the framework of Camp National Novel Writing Month (Camp NaNoWriMo), the summer sister of the November-based National Novel Writing Month. The goal of NaNoWriMo, an online novel writing event sponsored by The Office of Letters and Light, is to write a 50,000 word novel in a month, ending up on December 1 with a first draft roughly the length of The Great Gatsby or Fight Club. It is a writing exercise in forging ahead and getting the words on the page, and, as the NaNoWriMo founder Chris Baty says, of “turning off your inner editor.” Essentially, if you’re too wrapped up in getting everything perfect, it’s easy to paralyze yourself into not writing at all. Four years later, HML Writers still holds a summer session in July, but has expanded beyond the NaNoWriMo family and into a longer-running workshop series. Writers bring what they’re working on to read out loud, or pass out copies for critique. More often than not, most of the meeting time is devoted to the act of writing, with timers set and prompts given as a springboard for a story or poem to take flight. We have had series from guest writers, and we are putting together an anthology for publication. The goal for HML Writers is to help writers be comfortable with themselves, with their own styles and their own needs.
The Oneonta Free-Writers are a loose group of writers who meet once a week to stretch and improve their writing skills. We have been meeting since June 28, 2011 at Capresso’s in Downtown Oneonta. If you have a copy of Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones, we follow the six rules written down on page 8. Loosely, the rules are: keep your hands on your paper; keep writing even if you can’t think of anything to say; just write ‘I can’t think’, ‘I can’t think’ until your next thought pops into your head; write down everything that goes into your mind, even the silliest, craziest stuff. And, don’t worry about spelling or grammar because only you will read what you wrote. It’s important to write down your thoughts as they happen and keep on writing until the time is up. Each session generally runs for ten minutes. The Oneonta Free-Writers meet regularly at Capresso Café on Monday nights from 6:30pm to 8pm from early spring until late fall, and on Saturdays during the winter months from 10:30am to 12 noon. Current members include: Mary Ann Ross, Linda Thomas, Linda Kertzman, Alex Riba, Brian Loughlin, Morgan Ackerly, Marie Cummings, Tommy Klehr, Evelina Fuller-Lincoln, Catherine Stern, Harriet Dunne, Karin Catania.
Writers Salon takes place the 3rd Thursday each month. Readings begin promptly at 7:30 pm (please arrive by 7:15). Beginning with open mic, guests are encouraged to read personal works in this casual & welcoming environment (open mic is limited to 5 minutes per reader). Afterwards, enjoy a reading and presentation by a featured published author. Free & Open to the public. Donations greatly appreciated. Refreshments Served.