(From an article appearing in the November 2003 edition of Red Deer Magazine)
Writers' Ink The Red Deer & District Writers' Club
A Step in the "Write" Direction
The difference between the right word and the almost right word
is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug.
~ Mark Twain
It seems in Red Deer and Central Alberta - whatever your interest - there's a group or an association devoted to the cause. If you find joy in the written word, than Red Deer's Writers' Ink is the ideal choice for you. Established in 1992, Writers' Ink is a registered non-profit society devoted to the promotion of local writers and the written word. A group which started over a coffee between two friends has grown to become a society of professional, semi-professional, and aspiring writers who meet each week to share thoughts, ideas on writing, insights on the craft and of course - their writing.
Says founder and webmaster, Murray Fuhrer, "We had an active writers' club in Medicine Hat and when I moved to Red Deer in 1991, I was looking for a similar organization." A couple associations were meeting at the time, but Murray felt their focus was a touch too literary. "I was searching for a group where writers of every background and skill level could come together and share - were everyone felt comfortable doing so." Writers associate with writers and it wasn't long before Murray posed the idea, "Why don't we get together every week or so over a coffee and discuss our writing?" Before long, a handful of writers were meeting on a semi-regular basis at private homes - sharing the written word and enjoying great fellowship. Word began to spread and in less than six months, the group was forced to seek a permanent meeting place. "An original group member, Neil Hoffman, suggested the name Writers' Ink and we all agreed - it was the perfect choice."
Incorporation of the group as a society was the next step followed by a grant application to the Alberta Foundation for the Literary Arts. The application was success and the group's first project an anthology entitled Alberta Lifestyles was launched. Edited by Murray, the volume featured works of poetry and prose from writers across Central Alberta. A flurry of activity followed the announcement of the book project - newspaper stories, interviews on radio and community cable - a book launch with guest readers. Writers' Ink was firmly establishing in the minds of the reading/writing public as a progressive, dynamic group of writers. Shortly thereafter, membership swelled to nearly thirty forcing the group to again seek a new and larger venue. Choosing to meet weekly, the group settled into a comfortable routine - sharing news, views, and writing in progress, offering advice and critiques to fellow writers, hosting mini workshops and theme nights. The group decided to produce a chapbook each year - an adlib collection of assorted works - and one professional anthology every three years. Journeys: Personal, Spiritual, and Geographical followed in 1996 - edited by then Secretary/Treasurer, Joyce Ross and funded by the successful sale of Alberta Lifestyles. Again, works were selected for inclusion from writers across Central Alberta. The group continued hosting regular, weekly meetings and produced an annual chapbook, but it wouldn't be until 2002 - the 10th Anniversary of the group - that a third anthology was produced entitled simply, Our Tenth Anniversary Edition. Edited by Murray Fuhrer and Patricia Wynne, this volume featured works of prose and poetry by past and present club members.
The past few years, Writers' Ink has been meeting weekly from 7 'til 8:30 at Saint Luke's Family Hall at 4930 54th Street, downtown, Red Deer. Meetings are informal and everyone is welcome. There is no membership fee, but those in attendance are asked to contribute $1 per meeting to offset the cost of rent. The recent addition of a website maintained by Murray has given the group and its members a much higher profile. To log onto the Writers' Ink website, visit www.writers-ink.net. A visit to the website may even net you a free copy of a past anthology. Information is updated on a regular basis allowing members and the general public to stay current on markets, competitions, advice, and insights. Culturally, Red Deer has so much to offer. If you find joy in the written word, than Red Deer's Writers' Ink is the ideal choice for you. Helping you find the "write" words - Writers' Ink The Red Deer & District Writers' Club. Visit the website today for details or drop by one of the regular weekly meetings!