Open Source is a philosophy of working that reflects the M.O. of software development. We all share a little of what we know together and by doing so we all come away with our own unique projects. I am sure any software developers reading this are thinking "that's not how it works, bub." That's OK we are writers, we steal ideas and pervert them to our own devices all the time. That's how creation works. The heart of the Open Source for Writer's project is to create a community of people who are doing similar work -writing- and sharing what works for us individually, in the hope that everyone contributing a little bit creates a whole bigger than the sum of its members.
What We Do:
We meet bi-monthly for a couple hours; we each try to bring material to workshop for each meeting; we follow a general process of trying to understand a piece and its unique goals, then pointing out the strengths of a piece, and then finally looking for ways that a piece can grow and become even better. We do not reach a consensus on any of these points, but represent diverse feedback from a variety of readers.
No one is required to share their writing to participate in the group, but it helps.
No one is required to read their work in front of the group, but it helps.
What The Group Can Offer:
Provide a place where writers can receive support to continue writing. We are open to all ages, all styles of writing, and all levels of experience. Provides a place where writers can read even longer works, works that are not necessarily meant for performance, and they can receive feedback from other writers.
How We Do It:
Anyone who writes is welcome, but you must love to write in order to join. We listen to everyone’s work as literature, regardless of how we feel about the topic. We listen to everyone’s feedback with equal respect. Assignments only exist to get your juices flowing and to help you generate more work. If you have a project you're working on or you make up your own assignment or you are very busy that week and simply unable to complete an assignment, that's fine, because assignments are only given (at the end of each meeting) as optional exercises. Writers choose their own themes and topics (and that is even true within the assignments.) It is important to give feedback in a manner that encourages writers to continue writing. It is important to listen to feedback in the spirit of knowing that members of the group are simply trying to help and may, in some cases, simply not understand your goals for a particular piece. We enjoy writing. If you think writing is excruciating work and are forcing yourself to write for some external reason, we are the wrong group for you. We represent diversity and our common thread is that we love to write. The responsibility to discern where our own material can and should be read or published lies with each individual writer. We strive to let each writer produce open, free, uncensored material and in this spirit, we set aside political, religious, ethnic, and regional differences and enjoy that other writers in the group will do the same for us and our material. This extends even to genre-based biases such as judging whether a rant or song lyrics or a sci fi story or even an important letter qualifies as worthy of our attention; we treat all genres of writing as equal.
I have been writing my entire life, which did not always seem like that was such a long time... True story, I once came in second in a writing contest. Truer story, it was a contest for writers influenced by Edgar Allen Poe... and I submitted a piece that was a direct homage to T.S. Elliot. I don't know what that says about me or my writing, but I'll keep writing until I figure it out.
I have had a few short stories published, but mostly I write novels that crash and burn until a short story comes out. It's complicated.
I have some degrees that are related to writing, but does that really matter? I don't know. I am just another schmuck like the rest of us - trying to figure it all out and failing miserably at it.
I like to write in speculative genres: fantasy, horror, maybe a little science fiction, weird fiction. I do study the art of writing and writers and I do my best to share whatever I think I know about it.