Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Words Spring

Words Spring
May 8th. 9th. & 10, 2009 Saint John, NB.

Writers Federation of New Brunswick

Written By: Sharon A. Layton – Pollock

I set time aside, rescheduled my commitments and organized others to stand in for my obligations so I could attend Words Spring. I did so for a few reasons, one to get a much-needed break from all the above, one to just say hello to fellow writes, but mostly to attend Deborah Carr’s workshop.
Upon arriving home I received an e-mail from Lee Thompson asking if I’d write about Words Spring for the WFNB’s Newsletter. I e-mailed back saying that I would be delighted and honoured. The next day I thought, “gee, I never took any notes or photos, this article is going to have to come from memory.” Scary!
I attended the Annual General Meeting and workshops that followed. It was held in the Saint John Art Centre on Hazen Ave. President of the WFNB, Marilyn Lerch, welcomed everyone in attendance. Attention was drawn to the new logo for the WFNB designed by Branch Design of Moncton, N.B. New payment structure for membership was discussed and recorded.
Gerry Beirne gave a report on his ‘Three Year Plan’ for the WFNB. He discussed the need to maintain zeal and enthusiasm that new programs and ideas receive in their beginning stages. At a later date he will have finished his plan and will inform the membership to that end.
Beth Powning gave her report on the WFNB sponsored project ‘Literacy – 21.’ This project paired 21 writers with 21 adults who desired to learn the skill of reading. At the end of the project the new readers compiled their experience and a book of their stories will soon be published. Also, Beth spoke passionately about a program she is involved with where young people, within our high school system, are exposed to the thrill of writing.
Anne Simpson, an accomplished poet from Antigonish N.S. gave a workshop on writing poetry. She asked us to write a poem repeating a verse or phrase. Then asked us to listen to its ebb and flow and think outside the box when writing poetry.
Author Donna Morrissey of Newfoundland gave a reading from one of her latest novels. She was so entertaining. Donna was so at ease sharing parts of her book and her life, it made the listening easy. Her unique talent, joyous expressions, and body language that danced and her apparel of youthfulness caused me to near misbelieve when she told us she was a grandmother. I am going to buy and read her books.
Deborah Carr, from Hopewell Cape, N.B., took command of centre stage. Deborah’s generous sharing of her knowledge, experience and suggestions was even more than what I had expected. Assisted by her power point presentation drove her tips home even farther, and her willingness to e-mail them to all who wished to have them, to me, showed her sincerity for the profession of writing.
Later that evening, I shared with many, a scrupuious buffet put on by the cooking staff at the Hilton. Seated next to me was Mrs. Neilson, mother of the first prizewinner in non-fiction, Shane Neilson of Guelph Ontario. Mrs. Neilson was going to read from his book, ‘Standing In The ICU.’ It was uplifting to not only hear in her voice the pride she had for her son, but wonderful to see the glisten in her eyes as we shared our conversation.
But, that’s where my time ended. My sister, who graciously drove me too and fro the events, was an early to bed type of soul, and I had been to these events before and did not want to call her late into the evening. I excused myself and gave her a call. On our drive home Gloria asked how my day went, I told her I had gained many tips and encouragement and sure looked forward to attending many more!

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