The Writers' Loft
Here's the origin story, so to speak, for the Writers' Loft:
The Writers' Loft started when I realized that most writers I knew didn't have the support necessary in their writing life. Writing gets SO MUCH BETTER when you don't do it alone. I had crit partners who brainstormed and cheerleaded and helped me when I painted myself into my word corner, all in real time. But not everyone had that. And not everyone had a quiet, distraction-free office. In fact, most people didn't have all those ingredients that leads to being a happy, supported writer.
I wanted to narrow the distance on the learning curve for writers. What does that mean? It means mentors and crit partners for sounding boards and critiques, and novice writers learning from published authors. It means getting everyone in the same room at the same time, whether in real life, or virtually.
I started talking to my friends about getting an office space. Then I started talking about an office space for everyone. But I was afraid--renting an office space that big was a huge risk. But my husband said, "you NEED to do that." In his words, this idea became a reality.
My local writing friends, Martha and Nandini, helped me on the search for office space. Martha said, "wouldn't it be cool to find a loft space?" So when a loft space popped up on my app, we went to go see it. It was such a creative space, we were sold. I rented it.
The first month, I had some really scary moments, sitting in that two-room, big office space, alone. Writing my words.
But then people came. And then more came. We grew.
We started crit groups. Got authors in. My crit partner Anna Staniszewski used her rolodex to ask great authors in to do workshops and chats and classes. Josh Funk pulled in picture book writers to his amazing critique group.
We grew more. We asked what people needed. We provided it. We continue to do that today.
Writers need other writers. For feedback, perspective, knowledge, and camaraderie. It's the quickest and most enjoyable road to success.
And writers need a safe place, where people champion their success. There's no room for jealousy, for putting other writers down, for anything like that. We only build others up at the Writers' Loft.
Right now, a short three years later, we have over 300 local writers who come to use the space in some fashion. For support, for writing, for critiquing, for workshops or classes, for meeting agents and editors, for talking about marketing, and self-publishing, for workong toward success. Whatever success means for them.
We also have a vibrant Facebook group exclusively for people who have been to the loft and are a part of our community. We're launching an anthology this year, and a poster and catalog to distribute to local bookstores, libraries, and schools.
We're being successful, together.
Come, visit us in Sherborn, MA. We'd love to write with you!
Thank you to everyone who support the Writers' Loft!