Weaving words

Yvonne, Edna, Susan, Angela, and me at a Pine Lake writing retreat
Yvonne, Edna, Susan, Angela, and me at a Pine Lake writing retreat

What could be more wonderful for a writer than becoming part of a physical community of writers? I’m doing a happy dance on this wonderful Wednesday because I’ve attended my first meeting of Word Weavers.

This remarkable organization provides forums all over the United States (and one in Canada) for Christian writers to critique each other’s work in a face-to-face format. Online critique groups are great, and I’ve been part of a terrific one for several years. But I’m excited about the opportunity to regularly see and greet fellow writers in person.

And I’m even more excited when I think about how God orchestrated the steps to this dance.

In 2012, two writing friends and I traveled to Chicago and spent an exhilarating and emotional few days at the Write to Publish conference. My personal experience with conferences could be characterized as incredible highs and lows during a fairly constant state of confusion. Talking and praying with friends helped provide direction during the conference. It helped provide perspective and grounding to decompress together on the way home.

A highlight for the Three Amigos (Susan Lawrence, Angela Johnson, and I) was our participation in a fiction critique session with Eva Marie Everson, one of five people who began Word Weavers. Her crits were amazing! She articulately read the first page of a submission, meaningfully encouraged the writer, deftly nailed technical problems, and quickly concluded with positive remarks.

That “sandwich” method of beginning and ending on a positive note is the essential structure of a Word Weavers critique.

We three desired to begin a local chapter of Word Weavers, and we tried to get other area writers interested in a critique group. Susan had acquired the Word Weavers book, which described the group’s organization and critique model. At our online group’s annual retreat, we implemented the Word Weaver method and discovered its efficiency and power.

But during all this time, we couldn’t seem to get a local critique group going. Then a few weeks ago, we discovered that a local Word Weavers chapter existed.

Remember that 2012 Write To Publish Conference? Susan had made a connection there that resulted in a contract with Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. The publisher’s network strategy includes sending out news about authors’ booksignings. Susan was surprised, but pleased, to receive notification about a booksigning for the newly-released Fields of the Fatherless by a local author, Elaine Marie Cooper.

As Elaine and Susan chatted, Elaine revealed she’d recently initiated a local Word Weavers chapter. And the group’s second meeting was scheduled for January 13, 2104.

That’s how the Three Amigos came to attend our first Word Weavers meeting this past Monday. And why today is a wonderful Wednesday.

What makes today a wonderful Wednesday for you?


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