Begin with the end in view. That could be the motto of the Chemainus Valley Cultural Arts Society’s newly established Writers’ Forum and Circle, which is looking to hold its inaugural startup (Zoom) meeting in early October.

“We want Valley writers have places where they can share and publish their work at every stage of development,” said co-organizer Craig Spence, who along with Jonathan Churcher presented the idea of a literary focus for the CVCAS to the board in July.

The underlying premise is that when writers, poets and playwrights get opportunities to share their work – bringing stories to life where all stories live, in the minds of audiences – they will be encouraged. 

The CVCAS Writers’ Forum and Circle will share and publish members’ works, especially works in progress:

In the Circle – Readings will be encouraged in Writers’ Circle sessions. Preparing to read a work out loud, in front of a supportive audience, is a great way to discover words that make us stumble, or don’t convey quite the meaning we intended.

From links in Writers’ Forum profiles – Participants in the Writers’ Forum and Circles, who want to have their own profile on the CVCAS website, will be able to post stories, poems, and scripts to share with circle members and audiences beyond.

As CVCAS ReachOut! items – ReachOut! videos last three or four minutes, which translates into about a page or page-and-a-half of text. Again, the ability to read a piece with poise and confidence, moderating pace and practicing engagement, is a terrific way to hone a work.

In Writers Forum anthologies – Although the frequency and format of the Writers Forum anthologies hasn’t been finalized, the hope is that selected works of fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry and drama can be published.

In a regional magazine – Still in the planning stages, we hope to partner with a regional magazine, publishing selected authors, poets and playwrights. Stay tuned for developments on this exciting initiative.

The idea is to have venues where works at any stage of development can be shared and published, and that writers in the circle and forum will continually be encouraged to prepare and present their stories, poems and scripts to broader audiences through:

Critiquing – Members of the circle will respond to shared submissions and readings by other members of the group, offering positive feedback.

Mentoring – Over time a roster of mentors will be sought, who are prepared work with Chemainus Valley writers.

Workshopping – Based on input from members of the Writers’ Forum and Circle, literary workshops may be organized.

Collaborating – Artists in other disciplines will be invited to work with writers collaboratively, each inspiring the other to explore new facets of an event or topic.

Want to participate in the Writers’ Forum and Circle? Let us know.