Seven Bridge Writers' Collaborative is a creative writers organization that brings writers together to encourage, enrich, and develop a writing community that is an integral part of the cultural life of central Massachusetts. The Collaborative provides workshops, readings, lectures, and supporting services to writers at every level of experience.
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Founders: Paula Castner is the Chief Operating Officer for Seven Bridge Writers Collaborative as well as a freelance writer, playwright, drama director, writing workshop facilitator, baking coach, and professional administrator. Though she received her certification for writing children's literature, she writes in multiple genres. Her pieces have been published in a variety of venues, from parenting magazines, to newspapers, to online magazines, and have claimed first prize in several writing contests. Her play, A Fairy Tale Life? A Musical, with music by Canadian folk artist, Nancy Beaudette, was performed recently in Lancaster, Massachusetts. Her long term writing project is a fictionalized account of a historical court case about a slave girl from Holden, MA.
Mary Dowling retired in 2010 after a career in health care, where she was a medical center CEO during the last 14 years. Since retiring, she has explored art, theater and creative writing. Currently, she is an active docent at the Worcester Art Museum. She conducts tours for visitors, to not only enhance their understanding of art history, but to intensify their experience in the art of seeing. She believes that learning to truly observe is a critical skill for the visual arts and also for writing and many other professions. While Mary enjoys improving her own observation skills through her practice of drawing and watercolor painting, she has discovered the meditative quality and deep sense of peace these practices have added to her life. She also shares the experience of theater with family and friends, enjoying the advantage of season tickets for the last several years. But of course, she spends as much time as possible on her first priority, her children and four grandchildren, sharing with them her experiences in art, theater and story-telling.
Ann Connery Frantz of Lancaster wrote and edited at nine newspapers during her career, and now works as a freelance writer/editor. Her short story “Samaritan” won the 2010 Dr. Neila C. Seshachari Award for best fiction published during 2009 in Weber: The Contemporary West. She writes stories, blogs, has a bookclub column, “Read It and Reap”, in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette. She is currently polishing a completed novel, Emilee's Song.
Hollis Shore is a graduate of the University of Vermont, and the Vermont College MFA Program in Writing for Children and Young Adults. She has worked as a teaching assistant at the Whole Novel Workshop on Writing Historic Novels for Young People, at Highlights Foundation/Boyds Mills Press, and is a co-founder of the Seven Bridge Writers' Collaborative, where she facilitates critique groups and writing workshops. Her first novel, The Curve of the World, a historical, middle grade novel, won a Pen/New England Discovery Award, and will be out for submission shortly. Her new YA novel, Saved, about a young artist on a search for the music within, was developed under the auspices of the Boston Public Library, where she served as the Children’s Writer-in-Residence for the year, 2012-2013.
Winona Winkler Wendth holds an MFA in literature and writing with an emphasis on creative non-fiction from the Bennington Writing Seminars. She currently teaches writing and literature at Quinsigamond Community College. She has been a resident of Lancaster since 1992, and a writing mentor since 2007, and has been a workshop leader in Lancaster for the past two years. Her work appears frequently in print and online literary journals and was listed in Best American Essays/2010. She writes both fiction and creative non-fiction and is working on a collection of memoiristic essays as well as a short novel.