Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Writers' Group Meets in Oakmont Library Workshop Proves Popular

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Writers' Group Meets in Oakmont Library Workshop Proves Popular

Article excerpt

A group of writers meeting at Oakmont Carnegie Library for six weeks this summer found the experience so positive they decided to continue. As a result, a new author's guild has formed at the library with all ten original writers returning and five new participants.

The summer's "Journal to Book" sessions led by published author, Lillie Leonardi, a resident of Arnold, included exercises and chats with several Pittsburgh authors who have been successful in their efforts. They included Charles "Chip" Bell, Leah Pileggi, Connie Anne Valenti and Raymond Vennare. The goal was to give the writers a chance to journal and stimulate their creative abilities with the possibility of turning what they wrote into a book.

"Lillie was terrific as class leader, and we wanted the sessions to continue," said Kathy Kienholz, a free lance art historian from Fox Chapel and a twice-published, nonfiction author who said she took the sessions because she also wanted to get into fiction.

After the last scheduled session, Ms. Leonardi went to library director, Beth Mellor, to see if they could continue. The answer was yes.

"Participants have given great feedback about the workshops and have said that Ms. Leonardi offered a comfortable and supportive atmosphere in which to work on their writing projects," said Stephanie Zimble, reference librarian.

At the moment, the guild is accepting additional members for its monthly meetings, to be held from 6 to 8 p.m. the third Wednesday. Cost is $5 for each session.

Sessions are ongoing. Ms. Leonardi said she hopes participants develop a support system and share each other's skills.

In the summer sessions, the group included two marketing experts and two artists with skills that could come in handy when trying to publish a book.

"I have experience in editing, which is the skill I can contribute," Ms. Kienholz said.

Besides being an author, Ms. Leonardi, 58, has more than 25 years in law enforcement, starting in 1984 when she became the first female police office with the city of Arnold. …

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