I just returned from a reunion with my old critique group. We all lived near Mount Vernon–George’s home–when we first got together, so we named ourselves the Mount Vernon Writer’s Group. Our first meeting was a very long time ago. As a matter of fact, it was the day I sent my first full manuscript to my first agent. I was so young and nervous! I think we were all young and nervous about our writing in those days. (That book became my first published novel, but not until four long years later).
We were all working on novels back then, and we’d read and critique each other’s writing every week. We were a diverse group in terms of age, backgrounds and interests, but we had writing in common and that drew us together. Over the years, other writers have come and gone and members of this core group have moved away, but we’ve never lost touch. We’ve had varying levels of success, but we all have talent and we truly helped one another hone our skills.
This week, we met at one of our member’s homes at beautiful (if rainy) Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia, for a reunion. We read from our works-in-progress, caught up on our lives, ate gumbo, went out for Italian food, played Cranium, and got wet puppy kisses from Wally, one of my favorite dogs in the world.
We can still remember bits and pieces of our work from twenty years ago, especially the parts that made us laugh. The only negative was saying goodbye again. Can’t wait until the next time!
The Mount Vernon Writers’ Group at dinner. Ann Allman, me, Linda Rainwater, Jane Drewry and Jeanne Van Dusen Smith.