I am extremely fortunate to be part of a writing group -- to meet and write with six incredible and talented women, and not just in the writing realm. We are the Waywords: Barbara Pelman, Cynthia Woodman Kerkham, Grace Cockburn, Pamela Porter, Karen Shklanka, Yvonne Blomer and myself.
We met at a Glenairely writing retreat in Sooke, BC, facilitated by Patrick Lane, in November 2002 and began our writing group in January 2003. Every second Sunday since then, we have been rotating houses, pouring tea, putting out goodies, planning writing exercies and critiquing each other's poems with hard, constructive criticism but in a gentle and supportive manner.
We have shared our lives - babies, marriages, deaths, endings and new beginnings - our successes and our periodic disappointments both on and off the page. We have had a number of victories to celebrate:
Pam Porter won the Governor General's Award for her poetic fiction, The Crazy Man, in 2005.
Yvonne is gathering literary acclaim for her first book of poetry, A broken mirror, fallen leaf, published by Ekstasis Editions in 2006. Check it out: http://toddswift.blogspot.com/2007/04/blomer-shortlisted-for-lampert.html
A Mother's String and Barbara Pelman's book of poetry, One Stone, were both nominated for the Victoria Butler Book Prize in 2006.
Grace won a CBC prize for a poem about her father's shoes a couple of years ago.
We are all slowly breaking into Canadian literary anthologies, bringing forth our own books, and making our stamp on the world of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction.
We are the Waywords ... you never know where we'll go next!