2017-01-15 / Insight

Writer's Circle has been meeting for 12 years at Lapeer library

810-452-2609 • kmoralee@mihomepaper.com

LAPEER — For about 12 years now, local writers have been getting together once a month at the Marguerite deAngeli Library as the Writer’s Circle to share what they’re working on and get some feedback from their peers.

The club was started by the late pastor Gerald Sims, who asked Ric Marion to take over for a time after he fell ill with cancer. Sims passed away nearly three years ago, and Marion has been in charge ever since.

“I’m just kind of a nominal head,” Marion said.

In the past, Marion said, he was the highest paid columnist in Lapeer County. He worked in a shop in the auto industry, but after he was laid off, he was hired by Bob Linck, who was the editor of the Thumb Farm News.

“He wanted someone who could write, and ‘knew the working end of a cow,’” said Marion.

From there, he became a columnist for the Flint Journal as well. These days, he is working on more fiction, and hopes to be published one day. The Writer’s Circle, he said, is a way to keep him writing.

“The idea is that it keeps it closer to the surface,” he said. “I’m suffering a really bad writer’s block at the moment.”

On the first Thursday of every month at 6 p.m., the group meets at the library, and those who choose to do so can share what they’ve written.

“The rest of us will gently critique… or not,” said Marion. “We’re usually gentle.”

The feedback can help writers with parts of their work that might be awkward or unclear, and it can also serve as an ego boost when something sounds good.

“We have a hardcore group of five regulars right now and occasionally we’ll pick up another one here or there,” he said.

As far as genre, they’re “all over the place,” from screenplays to general fiction, poetry, children’s books and one woman who is writing a fictionalized memoir. Anything goes, and the fact that people with different backgrounds are giving input on each other’s work can be valuable for the self-editing process.

Most of the members, Marion said, haven’t been published before, though they’re working toward it.

The age range is as varied as the types of writing, from 20s to 70s, Marion said.

If you’re interested in the Writer’s Circle, just show up at the library at the right time and date.

“We won’t make you share things the first week,” Marion said. “But if you want to share, we’ll make time for you.”

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