Photo caption: Former Eau Claire Poet Laureate, Bruce Taylor, reads at a Chippewa Valley Writers Guild event. Photo by Justin Patchin.
Eau Claire is a pretty great place to live if you’re a writer…we have a ton of local talent and many of those folks have dedicated themselves to ensuring there are plenty of opportunities to learn more about the craft. In my role at the library, I have had the pleasure of serving and working with several community partners, each offering unique resources for aspiring and established writers alike and I’d love to highlight a few:
Literary Arts Committee – Writer in Residence
The Literary Arts Committee of the Eau Claire Regional Arts Center (soon to be migrated to the Pablo Center at the Confluence) has a committee comprised of local writers, publishers, educators, and writing supporters (like the library!) to look at the big picture of what is happening in the area and support the many efforts to promote the written word in the Chippewa Valley. One of the committee’s most prestigious tasks is to select the Eau Claire Writer in Residence, a two year term honoring a local writer for both their written work and contribution to the writing community. The current Writer in Residence, Max Garland, will be retiring from the post soon, but the newly appointed Karen Loeb will be there to bring something new to the picture. You can be part of this passing the torch celebration next month.
Chippewa Valley Local Authors
Have you published a book and are looking for ideas on how to promote it? CVLA is a collaborative group of local authors promoting the literary works of its published members and providing encouragement to its emerging writers.
Chippewa Valley Book Festival
Ask any writing teacher, and they’ll tell you one of the best things you can do is to read…a lot! Even better? Read great books and then meet the authors and hear them speak about what inspires them, how they overcome their writing challenges, and how they managed to make the leap from writing to publishing. The festival is just now wrapping up their planning, so look for lineup announcements soon and then get reading by checking out their books from the library. In addition to author presentations, the Chippewa Valley Book Festival also has free writing workshops (co-hosted by the library and the Chippewa Valley Writers Guild) sprinkled throughout the year, including one next month.
Chippewa Valley Writers Guild
According to their website (which is chock full of resources, like the directory of writing groups), “writing with [the Guild] is like your summer camp and favorite college class rolled into one.” The Guild organizes plenty of free craft talks as well as writing retreats for those looking to get more serious about their writing. There are even several scholarships opportunities available.