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Writers group provides forum feedback

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By The Staff

SHEPHERDSVILLE – Many people have a passion for writing and dream of being published, but it can be a difficult task. For anyone struggling with writing or getting published now there’s a group that offers help.The Bullitt County Creative Writing Group began meeting in March at the Dorothea Stottman Library in Hillview. The group’s purpose is to provide support for writers and encourage those seeking publication.Writers Becky Kelley and Jean Kinsey facilitate the meetings. Kelley hopes everyone participating in the group gets published.“We want to encourage writers at all levels to keep writing, enter contests and submit to publications that would work well for their types of writing,” said Kelley.The group got its start after Kinsey attended a creative writing workshop taught by Kelley through Bullitt County Adult and Community Education.“I had toyed with the idea for some time, and when I saw a class at Adult and Community Education, I mentioned to Becky that we form a group,” said Kinsey.Kelley said being part of this group gives everyone a forum for feedback and connections of possible places to publish work.“Writing is often a solitary endeavor and it’s hard to keep the momentum up without sharing it with others,” said Kelley.While many libraries host writers groups all over the United States, the creative writing group is the only one of its kind in Bullitt County.Kelley said the Internet offers writing groups the capability to meet without leaving the house. She and Kinsey participated in an online group with members from California, Texas, Utah and Kentucky.Kelley said the group had members who came every time and some that came in and out at their convenience.Typically the group e-mails 10 pages or less of writing to each member the week before a meeting. Group members then read and make comments on the pieces, discussing the comments and reactions to the writings at the meeting.“We all look for contests and publications that may be helpful to group members, we discuss accomplishments and upcoming writing events that we may want to attend, everyone receives good feedback and feels a renewed energy in writing,” said Kelley. “We’re always changing and revising expectations to meet the needs of the group.”One of the advantages of being a group member is having mentors who have been published.Kinsey was published in three books including Chicken Soup for the Mother and Daughter Souls, Chicken Soup for the Grandma’s Soul and Chicken Soup for the Adoptive Soul. In May, Kinsey was interviewed on WHAS-11 news at noon regarding her work in Chicken Soup for the Adoptive Soul.Kinsey also had fiction and non-fiction works published in Living Magazine, Disciples World journal, Nostalgia magazine and other publications.Group members who have been published offer advice and guidance to other wishing to be published themselves.“I would think that everyone has seen benefits from being in the group, I certainly have,” said Kelley. “The encouragement is a huge benefit.”Kelley said the difficulty of getting published is because many write for themselves, while publishers often look for specific types of writing to fit whatever is selling at the moment.“You often have to be willing to compromise to get published,” said Kelley.In the future Kelley hopes group members grow together as writers and friends.She said everyone in the group is at different writing levels. She encourages other writers to join.Kinsey added that she would like to see more members in the future. “There is nothing to be scared of in this group,” she said. “Writing is a very personal thing for each individual and one of our goals is to strengthen everyone’s view of their own writing, not knock on the parts that might not work well.”The Bullitt County Creative Writing Group meets on the first and third Thursdays of each month at 6 p.m. in the Dorothea Stottman Library.