This is a guest post by Allison Kirkland
Part of the reason that I joined the Mothership is because I am an extrovert who is good at introverted jobs (like editing and lesson planning) and working from home drained all my energy. That’s also one of the reasons I love running the monthly Durham Writers’ Salon. Not only do attendees get some good writing done in a place that’s ripe for play and risk taking, they also connect with other writers.
Writing shouldn’t be done in a vacuum.
We need other points of view, encouragement and feedback. My hope is that these salons function as a community for writers. There is so much talent in the area, but there are few places for us to come together and share and learn from each other. I encourage attendees to collaborate and to share other interesting events happening around town. The overall feel is laid back, informal and fun.
The Durham Writers’ Salon meets every second Tuesday from 7-9pm in the back room of the Mothership. For two hours we relax into creativity, camaraderie and sharing. It’s different than many of the other classes that I facilitate because instead of focusing on critical feedback it focuses more toward the beginning of the writing process, when it’s important to turn off that critical voice and just play.
Each salon is a little bit different. There is a loyal core of returning writers, but each week we have new faces too. Some months the room is standing room only, and sometimes it’s intimate. We have writers of all genres and experience levels.
I like to keep the salon flexible to meet the needs of the attendees. However, we always leave time to share our current projects and update each other on our progress.
Next comes the writing. I offer a prompt or two (always different and based on a theme; past themes include: love, luck and places + spaces) and we write for a set amount of time (usually 15-20 minutes). The prompts are meant to give each writer a gentle push and some structure. We then leave time for sharing and feedback.
I’ve been facilitating the Salon for a few months and I have seen friendships form, writers come out of their shells and I’ve heard lots of interesting stories and points of view. I manage the Durham Writers’ Salon Facebook page where I post writing and event opportunities in the area as well as information for the monthly salons. Check it out and stop by!