By Dimitri Silva
Tuesday evenings at Common Grounds are for the writers. Tucked away in a back room at the quaint cafe, the Lexington Prose Group members share stories of enchanted lands and local adventures alike. The writing varies greatly in genre, but the criticism is both constructive and helpful.
Members have been coming to share prose, receive feedback and listen to their peers since the group was started in 2007. Current facilitator, Hayley Arens said the notable author, Katerina Stoykova-Klemer, began the group in the hopes of building the writer community in Lexington. “Because writing is such a solitary craft, it’s good to have a community to fall back on,” Arens said.
Each writer is given a 15-minute time window to read his or her piece aloud, followed by a group discussion and feedback. The time frame is not set in stone, with some members sharing longer prose than others, but all who share are given individual attention and advice. If you choose to read it is suggested that you bring 8-10 printed copies of your work to hand out to the group. While you are reading, members will write feedback on your printouts before returning them.
In an effort to keep things civil the group provides all members with a “guidelines” page upon arrival. These guidelines include being honest, but kind when giving feedback and respecting other member’s work. Several other suggestions, including how to best critique constructively, are listed throughout the page. At the bottom of the page is a set of helpful editing resources for writers.
“Writing is something that you don’t find, it finds you,” Arens continued, “you start writing all this stuff and one day you wake up and realize, ‘I’m a writer.’”
Junior, Political Science major, Paul Sime said he would, “definitely go again,” after attending his first meeting on Tuesday. He went on to say, “it was a nice environment and fun to read other people’s work.” Sime stressed the importance of finding solidarity in writing and receiving constructive criticism on his work. “The most memorable thing is the feeling of being part of a community and having people support you and give you advice on your writing,” he said.
Whether you fancy yourself a good writer, or not, the Lexington Prose Group provides a friendly environment to share your work, or simply listen to that of others. The group’s mission is to, “create a fun, safe place for like-minded creatives to share their work!” Rain or shine, the Lexington Prose Group meets every Tuesday night at 7 p.m. to share coffee, croissants and creative writing.
For more information regarding the Prose Group visit their Facebook page at…
UK Junior, Paul Sime writing during the meeting.