THE Art Deco Writers Collective of Leeton is honoured to be developing our association with the Leeton Museum and Gallery, sharing our time and skills and building the profile and reach of the group in our community and beyond.
Already we have more members and more stories brimming and some wonderful spontaneous conversations happening unearthing Leeton's rich story history - just by virtue of me being situated there and it being the site of the group's gathering.
The opportunities this partnership with LMAG offers the community come down to connection - at the heart, it is people meeting and talking and sharing and connecting - and helping one another to bring ideas to fruition.
Making good things happen. Making books. Making stories come alive.
Making a creative community. Unlocking the voices of our town.
Taking our place in the crucible of arts and culture that Leeton is, where alchemy happens, reaching out to people to help them write their stories, and to make us all feel stronger and better able to face the ups and downs.
Recently, we were very lucky to welcome new members Ken and Mai to our writers' collective.
Ken is here in Leeton, and Mai is a dear friend of Ken's from London, where she remains in COVID lockdown, while we enjoy the gently beauty of Autumn in our part of the world, warm, sweet and fresh.
What do we have here that she cannot share - clear air, freedom of movement, socializing at the pub and in the cafes, with our friends and family, playing sport, looking forward to live theatre, meeting for our writing group, school, church, markets, libraries, movies, trips to the river.
IN OTHER NEWS:
Everything that we can do here, so many people cannot do any of that. None. We are so lucky.
We made a little video for Mai of writing group member Fiona reading a poem Mai sent me.
We panned the camera round the room and everyone said hello. We sent it to her, and she wrote back - how wonderful to hear my writing read out loud in an Australian accent.
How lovely to hear and see life there, here in London it is pretty grim, winter and lockdown are taking its toll. The simple act of having her on our email list and welcoming her as part of our writers' community - is making a difference, for her and for us.
Mai also shared a collection of writings done by the people living in her apartment block - about living in a time of COVID. Poignant, painful, aching, funny - giving voice to the experience of being human and isolated during this mad pandemic.
Our group are now working on a side project to gather our own reflections on COVID and publish them in a small chapbook - alongside the Londoners - a record of this time, for future generations.
My position as writer-in-residence at LMAG is an honorary position without funding attached.
For this reason, we will be seeking a sponsor for the writers' collective in coming months.
But in the meantime, please feel free to come to LMAG any time and talk to me about writing, I can give you feedback or guidance on stories you may be writing, tell you about the group, or discuss workshop opportunities.
And if you, like Mai, or like any of the other international and non-local members, are feeling curious, or lonely, or both - come and join us on Wednesday evenings at LMAG from 6:30pm.
Every week. You never know where the connection might lead.
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