About nine years ago three local women met at a creative writing class and decided they wanted to write for children. What resulted was Cookies and Milk, a column that has been published in The Times-Gazette and other area newspapers since shortly thereafter.
Now the three woman – Patty Kyrlach, Donna Patton and Maribeth Uralrith – are forming a group for published writers from Highland, Adams, Brown and Clinton counties to come together and share ideas.
The group does not have a name yet, but it held its first meeting this week at the Hillsboro Public Library, where it plans to continue to meet from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on the first Tuesday of each month.
“It’s open to anyone who has been published, is a professional writer, or works in the journalism field,” Uralrith said Thursday. “I don’t mean to sound rude, but it’s not for beginning writers, because we’re not going to go over the basics. It was formed so writers can teach, learn, and socialize with each other.”
All three woman trace their love of writing to their days in elementary school, and all three have authored various publications. Once they became serious about honing their craft they had to travel far and wide to gain writing knowledge.
That’s why they decided to start a local writing group.
“There are quite a few people around this area that have been published and we just wanted a help or support group of people who have been in the field,” said Uralrith. “We wanted something more close to home to support each other, learn, network, and maybe even inspire each other. Sometimes when you’re writing you get bogged down and you need something, or someone, to kind of pick you back up.”
The group’s first meeting featured a presentation by Peggy Foster on how to write a fairytale. Uralrith said next month’s meeting, which like most others for the time being will be held in the library’s basement meeting room, will be about how to write an outline for a novel.
“Some people don’t do an outline,” Uralrith said. “But I do because for me it keeps all the facts and everything organized before I write.”
She said other upcoming topics will include how to write a breakout novel, and what writers can learn from J.K. Rowling, the author of the well-known Harry Potter series.
“We’re at the beginning trying to get all the kinks out, but there are a lot of writers out there and if they’ve been published, are a journalist, or are in the publishing field we would like them get involved,” Uralrith said.
Anyone interested should email Uralrith at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or on Twitter @13gillilandj.