Writer Janet Beech, 65, of Claremont, Calif., leads a memoir writing group out of The Claremont Forum bookstore. She reports:
"We meet every Monday, sometimes for an hour, sometimes more. But we all come ready to read, ready to share, and ready to give critique.
"Each week we come prepared with ten pages, double spaced in 12-point font and we learn so much more doing it this way. There's nothing like having that kind of environment with honest critique.
"This town [Claremont] is truly special in that way, by bringing so many people from so many backgrounds who want to learn and share. It's not for everybody but the people who are meant to be here stay.
"We've got a diverse group. Some who don't bring in memoir pieces do shorter slice of life things and that's always fun. Normally we have around 10 to 15 writers join us, although probably fewer this week.
"Sometimes we have younger writers join us and they'll share a story or two, get the critique and it's not always what they want to hear, and we'll laugh and think they might not come back next week. People come and go but much of our community has stayed.
"We've been around for eight years, since we opened the bookstore, and some people come and go but the community is here. The bookstore and this group know the importance of what we do. The proceeds of the bookstore go to the Prison Library Project and the man who started that knew how important learning is.
"I love the work we do, and you are welcome to join us here anytime."See More Contributions