A group of writers who meet up twice a month at The Beach and Barnicott in Bridport. We’ve been going for almost five years and are a flourishing group with twenty members and a waiting list. Most of us were beginners when we joined though several have now gone on to be published in anthologies or on-line and to win or be short-listed in writing competitions.
The group was set up by Kathy Hallsworth who, having moved to Bridport, wanted to meet like-minded people. She put notices in various places around town to see if anyone was interested in joining a new writing group. About half a dozen of us responded and most of that original group are still members. Over the years several others have joined us and most continue to be involved. We decided fairly recently to put a cap on numbers at 20 before the group became too unwieldy. Kathy is still our overall leader, but to make sure that the group continues to run when she is away or ill, we have recently set up a committee of four (including Kathy) and this system seems to be working well for us. We do all feel very strongly though that, but for Kathy’s initiative in setting up and leading the group, we would not be where we are today
The initial idea was to provide a supportive and encouraging atmosphere in which writers could learn and develop, and draw inspiration from each other by sharing their work. From the beginning though we have always been about more than just meeting up to write. Of course we do that, but we have also made a point of being involved in community events and activities, sometimes initiating them ourselves and sometimes supporting other groups within the thriving creative community of Bridport. Each year we take part in the Bridport Open Book Festival during October, giving performances of our writing, and organising the Bridport Story Slam. We involve ourselves in local history projects. We give presentations of our stories to the WI, Probus and other groups in the area. We have worked in local schools to encourage children to write poetry. And we’ve joined up with local artists and singer/songwriters to create back-stories to their work. We think this sets us apart from other writing groups in our area, and as well as being an enjoyable way of integrating into the Bridport community has also provided us with stimulating ideas for much of our writing.