Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Maritime Writers Workshop

A graduate student, Mary Lund, came to our writers’ group. She was what you might call a creative writing workshop junky, having been to many, and she got the idea for us to have one. She enlisted my help. Because I wasn’t working, only having three children, I was eligible for all sorts of volunteer activities. We had a trial run, giving a creative writing class together one summer. Neither of us had ever published anything, and I had never had a creative writing course or been to a workshop, so a bit of hubris was involved. In the winter of 1975, through the UNB extension services, we planned and organized the Maritime Writers Workshop for that summer. It was the only such workshop east of Toronto. The teachers came from our writers group, but we decided we would have one “star” from away. He was John Metcalf, who had been writer in residence at UNB. Mary was a dynamo. She even had us cooking and serving a buffet supper for the first Sunday night. When I think about the energy I had in those days, I could weep. The workshop was a great success and is still going strong, although it now has quite a bit of competition.

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