I’m super excited about the anthology that our writing group is putting together. We saw that other groups in South Carolina had created such volumes and thought, “Why not?” Still, we were a little slow in getting started, and then we saw Nights of Horseplay, a book of equine fantasies created by the Aiken chapter of the South Carolina Writers’ Workshop. That did it! If the Aiken Scribblers could do it, so could we!
I talked to Steve Gordy, the writer who spearheaded the Aiken project, and his excitement and encouragement were contagious. After a tiny bit of prodding, everyone in the Camden chapter was “in.” Steve and the Scribblers had snagged the topic of equine tales because of Aiken’s thoroughbred reputation, and we decided to write a book of nostalgic recollections about Camden.
We ran into a little challenge right away. Since some of the members are from Wisacky, Bishopville, Dabb’s Crossroads, and Germany, the stories needed to represent those locales too. We soon realized that regardless of a person’s geographic origins, some experiences and emotions are universal.
At first, we were thinking primarily of holiday memories, especially those centered around hearth and home. Gift book! Or so we thought. But as the weeks rolled by and we began submitting our manuscripts for critique, our original focus started to change. We had holiday memories, yes, but we had much more. There were recipes, photographs, sketches, pithy advice from yesteryear, and poems. A couple of “boy meet girl” stories were submitted for review.
We must have copies of the book in our hot little hands by October 20th, so that means we’ll be working diligently to polish our pieces, organize the content, format the chapters or divisions, and upload it to CreateSpace. I guess we could wait for a traditional publisher, but since we want you to have your copy by Christmas, we’re going the self-published route.
Everyone is supposed to work on the same fun assignment this week: find some photographs to complement our submissions, come up with the perfect title, and decide on a cover. More Than Fruitcake is our working title, but whether we’ll keep it depends on how things progress in September. In any case, we’re planning to serve squares of that delectable dessert at our signing. And Cowboy Cake too.
Are you a part of a writing group? Have you worked together on a group project?