By John Walters
John is a science fiction writer and member of the MetroWest Writers’ Guild Board. He’s a lifelong reader, writer, and movie lover who enjoys sci-fi, the classics, mythology, and theology. He is in the process of completing “Obsidian,” the first novel in his adult science fiction series “Dark Salvation.” Find out more at john-walters.com.
When I hear the word “community,” one thing that comes to mind is the television show Community that aired from 2009-2015. I’ve only seen a few episodes, but even so, when I think about it my mental journey continues to Chevy Chase, a well-known actor who appears in the series. Then, I’m reminded of my favorite holiday movie “Christmas Vacation.” Finally, I’m reminded about my friend who once met Chevy Chase while skiing at Vail.
Whether you wanted it or not, now you know how my mind operates! However, I didn’t bring up the word “community” so I could just wax nostalgia about Chevy Chase. I actually wanted to remind you of the power of the word “community.” For me, community is everything: where I feel comfortable, safe, and can learn from others. When it comes to my writing, the MetroWest Writers’ Guild community meets all these needs and then some. It’s like my second home and maybe it can be one for you, too.
My time in the Guild started in 2018 when I joined the USA :: Massachusetts :: MetroWest region for National Novel-Writing Month (NaNoWriMo for short). At that time, my debut novel was in its infancy and needed serious help. That November, my first attempt at 50,000 words (the word count goal of NaNoWriMo) was unsuccessful. By 2019, my second attempt was better, but not quite to 50,000 words. From 2020 and onward, I’ve completed NaNo each year.
What changed? The answer is I got more serious into writing and more involved in the MetroWest Writers’ Guild. I started attending more events and connected with other writers. One of the first events I attended was an in-person write-in at the Marlborough Library in November 2019. Write-ins are offered year-round at the Guild, and they are great ways to have a dedicated time to just put words on a page with other writers. In January 2021, I participated in one of the first meetings of the “Read Like a Writer Book Club.” In preparation for it, we read Andrew Krivak’s post-apocalyptic novel “The Bear” and then discussed it over Zoom. I loved analyzing the novel, something I hadn’t done since college, and also engaging with other writers on Zoom. That’s another benefit of the MetroWest Writers’ Guild: we have many virtual options that have all been so wonderful.
As of August 2023, the MetroWest Writers’ Guild has 278 members on Facebook and 160 in the Circle community. We’re a 503(c)3 nonprofit organization and have a new journal coming out this fall, the Fiddlehead Folio. What’s more, The Puddingstone Press, our small press, will be rolled out soon. As a board member, I’m pleased that the organization is soaring under the remarkable leadership of Kyra Wilson Cook, the executive director. As a member with access to classes and other perks like quarterly cohorts, professionally taught craft classes, and retreats, I couldn’t be happier. Knowing there will be more offerings down the road is remarkable, and I can’t wait to participate as many as I can.
Nobody writes alone, and that’s why the Guild shines: we’re here for you if you need us. I think most of us want a community to call home, for people we can connect to who have shared interests, and the MetroWest Writer’s Guild is a perfect place to make those connections. I was part of writing groups that didn’t meet regularly, didn’t have classes, and they eventually disbanded or I left. The MetroWest Writers’ Guild is different, namely because we have so many classes, workshops, and social offerings. If you are searching for a vibrant, welcoming community, you’ve come to the right place.
Looking for a community to help you in your craft journey this NaNoSeason? Here are some ways to get involved with the MetroWest Writers’ Guild:
- Sign up for our Circle community, Discord community, and our monthly newsletter by filling out our Join Us! Form today.
- Check out one of our FREE craft talks this NaNoSeason. All of our events are listed on our Events page, with Zoom registration links you can use right now and get the talks on your calendar.
- Join us for our free social and write-in at Carson Beach in Boston on Saturday, September 10th at 12 noon.
- Join our NaNoWriMo Region (USA :: Massachusetts :: MetroWest) and our NaNoWriMo Activities.
- Join us for the launch of Fiddlehead Folio and the celebration of the MetroWest literary community at our Literary Extravaganza on Saturday, December 2nd at the Writers’ Loft in Hudson.
- Join our January 2024 Digital Retreat (more information soon!), one of our 2024 cohorts, or a craft class in 2024! We’ll be announcing our 2024 schedule in December!