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Here comes the Writing Womb

The Common to host event that will invite writers to write with writers
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The Common will host The Writing Womb, a collective space for writers to get together to write. It starts on the evening of Jan. 16. Rob O'Flanagan/GuelphToday

Writers are a solitary subgenus of the genus Human Being, but even they need the company of others. Here’s a novel idea: Writers writing in the company of writers.  

Patrick Kelly of Guelph Spoken Word wants to start a small-scale scene where writers write together in a common space. The Common café will be that space in the preliminary stages, starting with an evening gathering on Monday, Jan. 16, and continuing the following two Mondays, the 23rd and 30th.  

If all goes well, The Writing Womb will become a weekly, by-donation “intentional writing space,” Kelly said in an interview. The rules will be minimal, and will evolve, but there will have to be a shared understanding that writers need their space, even in a social setting.

“I think that one of the most important things for improving your writing craft is the intentionality of it,” he said. “I want to create an intentional space where people can come and sit down regularly, and just kind of do what they want, but especially improve their craft in writing.”

Guelph Spoken Word is a local arts organization that hosts a host of writing events and workshops throughout the year, all geared to nurturing local writing activity and appreciation.  

There are many aspiring and budding writers in the community. They need a sense of connection to the writing community, and a place to write and hang out.

“When I was in school I had to create spaces where I would walk in and know that I was going to be doing homework or writing,” said Kelly, a young writer of poetry and prose. He finds “dedicated” spaces for his writing, places he identifies as writing-only spots.

“Guelph Spoken Word has always been an organization focused on community building,” he said. “In my mind, The Writing Womb is focused on building community, and improving the writers within our community.”

Kelly believes it could be inspiring to sit in a room with people you know to be writers, and to work with them in fairly close confines.

“I think that is kind of inspiring,” he said. “That’s the need that I saw, and I personally need a space like this.”

On Monday, Jan. 16. writers are invited to bring their writing tools of choice, and new or ongoing writing projects to The Common. The plan is to spend the first hour strictly writing, followed by a short break. The general rule is don’t disturb someone who is engrossed in their writing

Those interested are asked to sign up here. If the happening gains traction it will continue.

“I’m hoping it will be something that people really respond to,” Kelly added.


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Rob O'Flanagan

About the Author: Rob O'Flanagan

Rob O’Flanagan has been a newspaper reporter, photojournalist and columnist for over twenty years. He has won numerous Ontario Newspaper Awards and a National Newspaper Award.
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