Aspiring Authors All Caught Up in Helpful Writing Web

By Scalf, Abby | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), March 19, 2001 | Go to article overview

Aspiring Authors All Caught Up in Helpful Writing Web


Scalf, Abby, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: AbScalf Daily Herald Staff Writer

After taking a break from writing for 17 years to raise her kids, Mary Hirose said her goal now is to see her short stories published.

"My goal is to get a book of short stories in Barnes & Noble," she said with a smile.

But Hirose, like many writers, knows it is difficult to write the perfect story without some advice.

Holding several sheets of notebook paper scribbled with her story lines, Hirose finds advice and encouragement at Ela Area Public Library's writers networking group.

"You're looking for other people's opinions of your work, other points of view," she said.

When she belonged to a writing group in Arizona, Pernetta Deemer found sharing her work to be helpful. After moving to Hawthorn Woods, she started a writing network at Ela Area Public Library in Lake Zurich.

"I'm surprised how much people like to get together and share," she said.

Deemer said the group, which meets in the morning and evening once a month, is an opportunity to share writing with others and learn how the work can be improved.

"You're so close to what you have written that you don't see how it can be improved," she said.

The group is geared toward people who prefer creative writing such as short stories and poetry, not technical writing, Deemer said.

Hirose, who lives in Hoffman Estates, discusses her short stories. Although some find it confining, she said short stories are challenging because every word counts.

Writers are asked to bring a manuscript that is no more than four to five pages to read. The group then critiques it.

Although members don't discuss mechanics, such as grammar, they do focus on ways to convey the subject matter most effectively.

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