Thursday, February 22, 2024

City Pages: Bowling Green Writers’ Workshop

One of the biggest reasons to join a writers’ workshop is networking — an opportunity to hone the craft and to gain new perspectives. Workshops inspire creativity, accountability and, sitting with a familiar group of writers,  a deeper understanding of the fact that stories don’t write themselves. It takes persistence. The Bowling Green Writer’s Workshop, a tight-knit group that meets at Grounds for Thought once a week, supports the art and craft of storytelling.

The Pens Behind the Group

The group’s founders Lauren Veith Sexton and Sam Newman started the workshop. They have assembled a group of regulars who meet to share their passion and improve as writers.

Sexton started the group because the commute to the Toledo Writers’ Workshop was cumbersome, graduated from BGSU with a major in English Literature and a minor in Creative Writing. She has been writing novels for the past 10 years, primarily in the magical realism spectrum.  Newman is a self-proclaimed hobbyist who participated in competition writing as early as middle school. His writing focus is dark comedy in the sci-fi/fantasy realm.

Why Workshop?

“Sharing your work and seeing other perspectives helps round out your writing,” Sexton explains, adding, “Getting feedback is incredibly important.” Being around other people who understand the craft helps weed through what’s working in a story and what’s not. It provides insight into flaws and opportunities that may have been overlooked.

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The prospect of receiving live, face-to-face criticism can be intimidating. However, with Sexton and Newman’s workshops, this is far from the case. They strive to offer a format where authors are actively involved in the critiquing process. And, for those feeling especially vulnerable about their work, they offer the option 0f providing individual feedback.

The Final Details

Newman is excited by special projects beyond the weekly workshops. “We started doing what’s going to be an annual literary journal called Squelch,” Newman explained.  The first issue was released in August 2023, with the next issue planned for the summer of 2024. Elena Sands, an active member of the group, has been invaluable as Squelch’s managing editor.

Besides workshopping and providing a creative space for local writers, Bowling Green Writers Workshop participated in BGSU’s 2023 Winter Wheat festival, leading a class on giving and receiving critiques. 

The Bowling Green Writer’s Workshop meets at Grounds for Thought, 174 S Main St., Bowling Green, every Wednesday at 6 pm. 

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