Writers Workshop Meets Monday in McPherson

By Jolyn Johnston-Myers
June 24, 2016

The Writers Workshop meets again this Monday, June 27, starting at 6:30 in the Meeting Room at the McPherson Public Library.

This will be the third meeting since the group was launched earlier this spring. According to Shannon Brake, director of communication and marketing for the library, and also one of the facilitators, the Writers Workshop has been a great success with a solid turnout.

“Each time we’ve had people who have been very enthusiastic and very encouraging with each other,” Brake said about the participants. “And I think that’s the best part of a writers’ group is people come and they encourage each other, and they are sitting with like-minded people who love to write, and so they feel very validated by that.”

Shannon said they’ve been seeing a wide range of writing types and techniques in the group that’s been coming so far.

“We have everything from poetry to historical fiction to fantasy fiction… We have somebody who has to write a lot of reports for clubs and groups that she’s involved in, and so she just wants to come and learn how to be a much better technical writer.

“It’s very interesting going from person to person and listening to the wide variety,” Shannon continued. “And everybody can get experience in critiquing those different types of writing.”

According to Shannon, writers also benefit from the experience of critiquing outside their usual genre.

“A lot of times when you’re a write you just fall into one path and one foire of writing and you kind of just put yourself in that shoebox. But when you are in a writers’ group, you definitely expand and broaden your horizons by listening to everybody else’s expertise.”

Participants in the Writers Workshop can also share their writing virtually by using google docs, so they’re not limited to only giving and receiving feedback in the monthly meetings. However, Shannon thinks the face-to-face time is vital for the workshop’s success.

“I think that’s why it’s important also to meet in person because I think that helps foster that feeling of trust that you might not have just with an online writing group,” Shannon said.

The age range in the writers workshop is as varied as the writing itself, from young recent college graduates to those of retirement age and everything in between.

“I think it’s so important for those generations to be in the same group,” Shannon said. “The social connections among the generations are vital. They [retirees] have so much to share, and then we have so much to share with them as well.”

The writers workshop meets every fourth Monday evening at the McPherson Public Library at 214 W. Marlin, across the street from the McPherson County Courthouse. Shannon emphasized that new participants are welcome to join at any time.

“We’d love to fill that room; there’s always room for more.”

For more information on the writers workshop, contact Shannon Brake at 620-245-2570 or email the library at

[email protected]