WWG Meeting, August 21st @10:30am, City Square Park

Our rain check from our cancelled August meeting approaches! (Haha, get it? Rain check? Cancelled due to a storm? Get it?)

(Disclaimer: Jen is not a comedy writer)

IN ANY CASE, we have rescheduled! This Saturday, August 21st. Our usual space (of late), the gazebo at City Square Park in Downtown Waconia (the corner of E. Main Street and S. Spruce Street)!

Prompt: Write a piece that includes a body of water and makes use of all five senses.

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WWG Meeting, August 7th @10:30am, City Square Park

Our usual space (of late), the gazebo at City Square Park in Downtown Waconia (the corner of E. Main Street and S. Spruce Street)!

Prompt: Write a piece that includes a body of water and makes use of all five senses.

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WWG Meeting this Saturday, 7/10 @ 10:30am (City Square Park)

We are meeting in person this Saturday! 10:30am, at the Gazebo in City Square Park, Downtown Waconia. 

Prompt: The most annoying thing…

PLEASE NOTE: This meeting is weather permitting; in the event of inclement weather, a Zoom meeting will be offered as Plan B. Please bring your own lawn chair!

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Jun 12th WWG Meeting Recap // Next meeting on July 10th!

Group Updates:

  • We stole an hour of perfect summer weather for our rescheduled June meeting… only to be interrupted by a (probably very nice) city worker grinding up large swathes of sidewalk behind us with The Loudest Power Tool On Earth. Thankfully we’d all gotten the chance to read our pieces about hamburgers cooking!
  • A smallish group this time, we talked about finding opportunities to meet in air-conditioned locations for future meetings when the weather might be just a little too hot, and to try to accommodate more of our regular members. A few of our members are investigating options… stay tuned!

Announcements:

  • There are a few exciting upcoming summer community events in the works! First up is ArtStock (the arts festival hosted by the Arts Consortium of Carver County, at Parley Lake Winery on July 10-11). There are also a few virtual writing-themed classes in July, hosted by the Carver County Library and facilitated by the Loft Literary Center. These events are posted on our WWG Events page with links to more information.
  • We are continuing our virtual Critique Sessions! The next session is Wednesday July 21st at 7pm on Zoom! Please use the contact form to request an invite.
      • How we plan to use this time:
        1. We’ll kick off with a free-write, 10 or 20 minutes 
        2. We are going to use the rest of our meeting to focus on one of our goals mentioned above, critique and feedback!
          • Participants should bring a piece to this meeting they are currently working on and would like feedback on.
          • We have created a shared Google Drive folder to store our pieces for review and critique. If you would like to participate, contact Jen for access to this folder. We try to have pieces uploaded at least a few days in advance of the next session, to allow for comments and feedback prior to the meeting.
          • We will take turns reading our pieces and open the floor for critique.
          • We will agree on a time limit per member for reading and feedback.
          • We will also follow our unanimously agreed-upon “Critique Code” to make sure people feel comfortable and are on the same page with the critique process.
      • All are invited to this Wednesday night meeting; please know that we would like to stick to the two activities above during this time. We will be continuing our regular meetings the first Saturday of the month! 

Next Saturday Meeting:

Weather permitting, we will meet at 10:30am on Saturday, July 10th, at City Square Park in Downtown Waconia! Meet us by the gazebo! (Bring a lawn chair.)
NOTE: We will update this post if we find a spot to meet safely indoors in the AC. At the very least, there will also be a back-up virtual meeting planned, in the event of inclement weather.

Prompt for June 10th: The most annoying sound…. (Editor’s note: Sorry not sorry, Concrete Grinder Man.)

 

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MEETING CHANGE: June 5th Meeting Postponed!

Hi writers!

Due to the heat advisory for this weekend, we are postponing our WWG meeting in City Square Park, that was scheduled for Saturday, June 5th at 10:30am.

NEW MEETING DATE: Saturday, June 12th, at 10:30am (still at the City Square Park gazebo, bring lawn chairs!)

PROMPT: “The smell of hamburgers on the grill…”

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May 15th WWG Meeting Recap // Next meeting on June 5th!

Group Updates:

  • Finally our group meeting in the park was held in perfect spring weather!
  • There were five attendees (and special guest Jim Kane from our sister Carver County writers’ group, and Three Rivers Writers) and it was lovely to catch up with each other.

Announcements:

  • Jim mentioned that the Arts Consortium will be sponsoring a literature night in August in the bandshell at the Waconia park, and there will be an invitation for those in our group who would like to share writing. Watch the Arts Consortium website as the time approaches.
  • We are continuing our virtual Critique Sessions! The next session is TBD FOR JUNE, but likely still a Wednesday, at 7pm on Zoom… keep an eye out for updates! Please use the contact form to request an invite.
      • How we plan to use this time:
        1. We’ll kick off with a free-write, 10 or 20 minutes 
        2. We are going to use the rest of our meeting to focus on one of our goals mentioned above, critique and feedback!
          • Participants should bring a piece to this meeting they are currently working on and would like feedback on.
          • We have created a shared Google Drive folder to store our pieces for review and critique. If you would like to participate, contact Jen for access to this folder. We try to have pieces uploaded at least a few days in advance of the next session, to allow for comments and feedback prior to the meeting.
          • We will take turns reading our pieces and open the floor for critique.
          • We will agree on a time limit per member for reading and feedback.
          • We will also follow our unanimously agreed-upon “Critique Code” to make sure people feel comfortable and are on the same page with the critique process.
      • All are invited to this Wednesday night meeting; please know that we would like to stick to the two activities above during this time. We will be continuing our regular meetings the first Saturday of the month! 

Next Saturday Meeting:

Weather permitting, we will meet at 10:30am on Saturday, June 5th, at City Square Park in Downtown Waconia! Meet us by the gazebo! (Bring a lawn chair.)
NOTE: There will be a back-up virtual meeting planned, in the event of inclement weather.

Prompt for June 5th: The smell of hamburgers cooking….

 

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April 10th WWG Meeting Recap

 

Group Updates:

  • We met in person for the first time since SEPTEMBER 2020! It was breezy/freezy, but we did it! Good to see those who braved the arctic (i.e. typical MN April) weather! Hopefully the next one will be warmer.

Sharing Pieces:

  • We shared pieces on the prompt: “Inspired by Actual Events.” Nice work, everyone!
  • (PLEASE NOTE: If members would like their past work, prompts or otherwise, featured on our WWG website, let Jen know! We have a page – In Our Own Words – devoted to highlighting work of our members who volunteer to share it!) 

Discussion:

  • We are continuing our virtual Critique Sessions! The next session is Wednesday, April 14th, at 7pm on Zoom. Please use the contact form to request an invite!
      • How we plan to use this time:
        1. We’ll kick off with a free-write, 10 or 20 minutes 
        2. We are going to use the rest of our meeting to focus on one of our goals mentioned above, critique and feedback!
          • Participants should bring a piece to this meeting they are currently working on and would like feedback on.
          • We have created a shared Google Drive folder to store our pieces for review and critique. If you would like to participate, contact Jen for access to this folder. We try to have pieces uploaded at least a few days in advance of the next session, to allow for comments and feedback prior to the meeting.
          • We will take turns reading our pieces and open the floor for critique.
          • We will agree on a time limit per member for reading and feedback.
          • We will also follow our unanimously agreed-upon “Critique Code” to make sure people feel comfortable and are on the same page with the critique process.
      • All are invited to this Wednesday night meeting; please know that we would like to stick to the two activities above during this time. We will be continuing our regular meetings the first Saturday of the month! 

Next Saturday Meeting:

Weather permitting, we will meet at 10:30am on Saturday, May 15th, at City Square Park in Downtown Waconia! Meet us by the gazebo! (Bring your mask and a lawn chair.)
NOTE: There will be a back-up virtual meeting planned, in the event of inclement weather.

Prompt for May 15th: Write about an encounter with law enforcement.

 

Anything I missed? Go ahead and share in the comments below! ~Jen

 

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March 6th Virtual Meeting Recap

A nice little group of us met today, on the sixth day of March 2021. See the recap below:

Group Updates:

  • The WWG has officially been invited to participate in a virtual celebration of our published anthology, “View from the Shore!” This will take place on Wednesday, March 24th, at 7pm, and hosted by the Arts Consortium of Carver County. More details to come, but please contact literary@artsofcarvercounty.org to RSVP! More information is linked on the WWG Events page.
  • You can now find our Anthology book in a few more local places:
    • Cream & Amber in Hopkins  – available for purchase online or in-store pickup
    • Unearthed Arts in Waconia – available in store
    • Outreach is also in the works with the Arboretum and the Carver County Library system, as well as other bookstores around the Twin Cities metro. Please refer back to our Anthology page for updates on who is currently carrying View from the Shore!

Sharing Pieces:

  • We shared pieces on the prompt: “Eavesdropping on a conversation.” Nice work, everyone!
  • (PLEASE NOTE: If members would like their past work, prompts or otherwise, featured on our WWG website, let Jen know! We have a page – In Our Own Words – devoted to highlighting work of our members who volunteer to share it!) 

Discussion:

  • We are continuing our virtual Critique Sessions! The next session is Wednesday, March 10th, at 7pm on Zoom. Please use the contact form to request an invite!
      • How we plan to use this time:
        1. We’ll kick off with a free-write, 10 or 20 minutes 
        2. We are going to use the rest of our meeting to focus on one of our goals mentioned above, critique and feedback!
          • Participants should bring a piece to this meeting they are currently working on and would like feedback on.
          • We have created a shared Google Drive folder to store our pieces for review and critique. If you would like to participate, contact Jen for access to this folder. We try to have pieces uploaded at least a few days in advance of the next session, to allow for comments and feedback prior to the meeting.
          • We will take turns reading our pieces and open the floor for critique.
          • We will agree on a time limit per member for reading and feedback.
          • We will also follow our unanimously agreed-upon “Critique Code” to make sure people feel comfortable and are on the same page with the critique process.
      • All are invited to this Wednesday night meeting; please know that we would like to stick to the two activities above during this time. We will be continuing our regular meetings the first Saturday of the month! 

Next Saturday Meeting:

Now that the weather is warming up and our community is slowly unfreezing, the group decided we would like to try an in-person socially-distanced meeting! Weather permitting, we will meet at 10:30am on Saturday April 10th*, at City Square Park in Downtown Waconia! Meet us by the gazebo! (Bring your mask and a lawn chair.)
NOTE: There will be a back-up virtual meeting planned, in the event Minnesota shows her full fickle early spring temperament (which she so often does).

Prompt for April 10th:
“Inspired By Actual Events” (use a story from the news or history books to inspire a short work of fiction)

*PLEASE NOTE: Original post had stated April 3rd as the in-person meeting; that date has been pushed back one week due to the Easter holiday landing on the first weekend in April!

Anything I missed? Go ahead and share in the comments below! ~Jen

 

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February 6th Virtual Meeting Recap

Due to the request of several members, virtual meetings will continue on 1st Saturdays! A nice little group of us met today, on the sixth day of February 2021, with some good discussion and beautiful pieces to share! See the recap below:

Group Updates:

  • Welcome new member Robert! 
  • Jen updated the group about added Events and virtual meetings added to the WWG website.
  • You can now find our Anthology book in a few more local places:
    • Cream & Amber in Hopkins  – available for purchase online or in-store pickup
    • Unearthed Arts in Waconia – available in store
    • Outreach is also in the works with the Arboretum and the Carver County Library system, as well as other bookstores around the Twin Cities metro. Please refer back to our Anthology page for updates on who is currently carrying View from the Shore!
  • In other Anthology-related news, we are still in the process of confirming a date with the ACCC for our virtual celebration/reading! We have three WWG members/anthology contributors who have committed to participate; please let Jen or Mona know if you’re interested. It’s looking like we are trying to set something up for a weeknight in March, more info to come!

Sharing Pieces:

  • Many members were inspired by the prompt for this meeting: Winter Day. Several wonderful pieces were shared! (PLEASE NOTE: If members would like their past work, prompts or otherwise, featured on our WWG website, let Jen know! We have a page – In Our Own Words – devoted to highlighting work of our members who volunteer to share it!) 
  • Laurel and Lynn shared non-prompt pieces they had been working on. As promised, Lynn shared parts of her geese and cyborg story, and it was worth the wait! Laurel shared a video-game inspired piece that drew us immediately in. Wonderful world-building!
  • Jen shared a video she made featuring her piece for the Winter Day writing prompt, called Faerie Snow. Exploring new media for featuring writing became a discussion topic (see below).

Discussion:

  • Group members discussed using the method of distancing and how it sometimes helps us solve problems with pieces we’re having difficulty with. Taking some space from a piece – sometimes even to focus on other writing projects or creative outlets – can clear the perspective and help us find solutions to plot snarls when we return to the troublesome piece. As a group, we agreed that temporarily distancing ourselves is a tool we can use when writing novels, shorter pieces, and poetry! Writer’s block is real and doesn’t discriminate based on what you write. Distancing can definitely help!
  • Jen’s video piece prompted some conversation around finding “outside-the-box” opportunities for our writing. We talked about YouTube channels, performance poetry and spoken word, and other creative virtual methods for getting our work independently out there, as we still are learning to function as writers (and generally as people) still stuck in the middle of a pandemic.
  • We also talked about how to find resources and opportunities for projects we are working on. Several people are looking for illustrators; it was suggested that Fiverr may be a useful resource for writers when shopping for freelanced work of a creative nature.
  • The members at the meeting expressed interest in possibly arranging a separate meeting devoted to the process of publishing our work as writers. Since we do have collective experience with that, we think it would definitely be a useful topic for discussion, and an involved-enough topic to warrant its own meeting. Stay tuned!
  • The group also identified a goal of devoting more time to critique and feedback on pieces we’re working on. We talked about what critique means and how it’s a useful part of the writing process (constructive vs. not constructive), and agreed to identify some guidelines for our members to follow when engaging in critique as a group.
  • We are looking forward to our first “extra” meeting of 2021, this Wednesday 2/10 at 7pm on Zoom!
      • How we plan to use this time:
        1. We’ll kick off with a free-write, 10 or 20 minutes 
        2. We are going to use the rest of our meeting to focus on one of our goals mentioned above, critique and feedback!
          • Participants should bring a piece to this meeting they are currently working on and would like feedback on.
          • We will take turns reading our pieces and open the floor for critique.
          • We will agree on a time limit per member for reading and feedback.
          • We will also create a unanimous “Critique Code” by identifying some agreed-upon guidelines to make sure people feel comfortable and are on the same page with the critique process.
      • All are invited to this Wednesday night meeting; please know that we would like to stick to the two activities above during this time. We will be continuing our regular meetings the first Saturday of the month! 

Next Saturday Meeting:

We decided we wanted to explore crafting dialogue in our pieces for next meeting. “Eavesdropping on a conversation” is the prompt for next virtual Saturday meeting, March 6th @ 10:30am

Anything I missed? Go ahead and share in the comments below! ~Jen

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January 2nd Virtual Meeting Recap

Due to the request of several members, virtual meetings will continue on 1st Saturdays! A nice little group of us met today, on the second day of 2021, with high hopes and some good discussion! See the recap below:

Sharing Pieces:

  • Lollie shared her piece from the impromptu prompt ‘How Are You?’
  • Jen shared an older poem titled “New Years Revolutions” that she’s including in her newest personal poetry chapbook/anthologies, coming out this winter/early spring 2021.

Group Updates:

  • Mona started a blog! Musings With Mona (musingswithmona.com)
  • Gudrun is thinking about starting a blog to document a road trip adventure she’s taking this year! 
  • Lynn shared that she found a bunch of old stories, some that she didn’t even remember. And she is planning to share one about geese and cyborgs next month. This led to some great discussion on saving manuscripts (see the highlights in the Discussion section below).
  • Jen updated the group about changes on the WWG website, namely the Anthology page and Events with virtual WWG meetings added for early 2021.
  • The group discussed the upcoming ACCC Open Mic Night (possibly in February) that would feature our authors reading from the WWG anthology! We are in communication with the coordinators at ACCC to confirm a date, as we’re waiting for our books to arrive (hopefully in January!). We have three WWG members/anthology contributors who have committed to participate; please let Jen or Mona know if you’re interested!

Discussion:

  • We had a great conversation about saving old manuscripts. How sometimes a piece isn’t ready to be written yet, but the potential remains. And how sometimes if you come back to the piece – revisiting that potential weeks, months, or years later – you’ll find it’s finally ready to be in the world.
  • We also discussed how saving old writing can be a good means to document your growth as a writer.
  • We also discussed options for blogs, as a few of our members a) have active blogs/websites, b) are just starting out in the blogging world, or c) are thinking about starting a blog! We talked about the pros and cons of Blogger vs. WordPress (vs. other website platforms that we felt as a group are geared more toward online sales/business functions, so our conversations was primarily around Blogger or WordPress. More to come on that!)
  • While we as a group agreed it was useful to maintain a Saturday meeting each month (following our regular 1st Saturday of the month schedule), we also brainstormed possibilities for trying out new days/times, to incorporate a second virtual meeting. We landed on trying a weeknight… Wednesday nights at 7pm may work for many, as this was a night we used to use for write-ins at Mocha Monkey (oh how we miss those days!!!). 
      • Some thoughts about how to use this time:
        • Incorporating a 10-minute free-write could be fun
        • Thoughts about how many of these extra meetings per month? 1 Wednesday or multiple weeks?
        • Starting date? We agreed on February. We’ll be setting up a Zoom meeting for Wednesday, February 10th  at 7pm as a trial.

Next Saturday Meeting:

“Winter Day” is the prompt for next virtual Saturday meeting, February 6th @ 10:30am

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