Several times a year, The Writers Guild hosts a book club/read-along. If you have a selection you’d love to recommend, please send us the title and name of the author to using our contact form.
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Next Selection: TBA
Past Book Club Selections
poemcrazy: freeing your life with words
by Susan G. Wooldridge
Let’s have some fun, shall we?
April is National Poetry Month, and it’s also the start of spring here in the Northern Hemisphere. To celebrate this “mud-luscious” and “puddle-wonderful” time of year (to borrow the delightful words from this e.e. cummings poem), we’ll be reading poemcrazy by Susan G. Wooldridge and playing with words.
We’ll splash around in “wordpools,” unleash our inner poets, and delight in language. Whether or not you consider yourself a poet, this read-along will tempt you to get a little “poem crazy” as we explore all the ways that a sense of the poetic can fuel our writing and our lives.
We’ll read one section a week for five weeks. Discussion questions, writing prompts, and more will be posted as we go along. Here’s the schedule
BONUS* – Head over to the Interviews library to listen to an exclusive interview with Susan Wooldridge about poetry and the magic of language. (*Available to monthly and annual members.)
Susan G. Wooldridge is the author of poemcrazy, which is now in its 26th printing. Anne Lamott has called it a “wonderful book, smart, wide-eyed, joyful, helpful, inspiring.” Susan’s other books include Foolsgold: Making Something from Nothing and Freeing your Creative Process and the poetry collection Bathing with Ants.
“Sustaining Yourself as a Writer,” from Breathing the Page: Reading the Act of Writing by Betsy Warland
Warland begins this chapter with a question many of us have probably asked in one way or another:
Sometimes I am overwhelmed, discouraged. What will help me persist and grow as a writer?
(Many thanks to Guild member Karen for suggesting this selection!)
Betsy Warland has published 12 books of poetry, creative nonfiction, and lyric prose including her best-selling 2010 book of essays on writing, Breathing the Page—Reading the Act of Writing. In 2013, Warland created a new publishing template: an interactive salon that features excerpts from her manuscript Oscar of Between, Guest Writers and artist’s work and lively comments from salon readers. In March of 2016, Oscar of Between—A Memoir of Identity and Ideas launches Caitlin Press’ new imprint, Dagger Editions.
The Writing Life by Annie Dillard
For nonwriters, it is a glimpse into the trials and satisfactions of a life spent with words. For writers, it is a warm, rambling conversation with a stimulating and extraordinarily talented colleague. (The Chicago Tribune)
What does it mean to create and live your own writing life? Will your writing life look like someone else’s? How much of a writing life is about the process versus the product? Is being called to write a joy or a burden?
The Boston Globe calls The Writing Life a “brilliant guidebook to the landscape of a writer’s task.” I think of this book not so much as a “how-to,” but more of a peek into one author’s mindset and approach to her craft. Consider it a conversation, not instructions.
Of course, you may well find instructions on writing and living the writer’s life in these pages. You may find yourself nodding with a spark of recognition at Dillard’s description of the writing process. You may also find yourself questioning or even vehemently disagreeing with her assertions. That’s the beauty of this book (and much of Dillard’s writing): She thinks deeply and writes boldly about her subjects, which gives readers much to chew on—and much to challenge.