Friday, January 22, 2016

Bridging Writers Series
Readings and Discussions


Dale Peterson: Where Have All the Animals Gone?: My
Travels with Karl Ammann

Monday, February 1, 2016
6:30 to 8:00 p.m.
Thayer Memorial Library, Dexter Thayer Room

Dale Peterson writes about highly intelligent animal species such as primates. In this new memoir, he describes his travels through Africa with the brilliant, provocative, and irritating Swiss wildlife photographer, Karl Ammann. Join us as he reads from his book and answers questions about his work. 

Please join us for this free event

For more information on this program, or on SBWC, please contact us at

Listening To Your Work

The lessons you are meant to learn are in your work. To see them, you need only look at the work clearly - without judgment, without need or fear, without wishes or hopes, without emotional expectations. Ask your work what it needs, not what you need. Then set aside your fears and listen, the way a good parent listens to a child.

               David Bayles and Ted Orland, Art and Fear

For many of us at SBWC, critique groups are essential to improving as writers. Critique groups serve writers in the revision process, offering a safe and supportive environment in which to share and evaluate manuscripts at all stages of development. This kind of feedback, instead of being negative or positive, strives to be helpful, offering specific, thoughtful comments based on close reading. Critiquing is not about the writer, the process, or the choice of subject matter, it’s about the work on the page. It’s the best kind of collaboration, encouraging writers in the development of their craft.

SBWC invites writers to contact us if they are interested in critique.  An ideal group has four to six dedicated members, working in the same genre, at similar levels. SBWC can facilitate beginning groups, or act as a clearinghouse, connecting experienced writers looking for a new workshopping community.

New groups form throughout the year. To find out more, please visit our Critique Groups page at And if you have further questions, or would like to join or start a critique group, please contact us at

Monday, January 11, 2016

Upcoming Event

Seven Bridge Sessions

 Submitting to Literary Magazines
With Diane Mulligan

Saturday, January 16, 2016
10:30 a.m.  – 12:30 p.m.
Thayer Memorial Library, Dexter Thayer Room

Do you find the task of submitting to literary magazines intimidating or overwhelming? In this workshop we’ll develop basic tools for identifying journals that are right for your genre and writing style, as well as best practices for contacting editors and tracking your submissions.

Diane Vanaskie Mulligan began writing her first novel, Watch Me Disappear, during an after-school writing club she moderates for high school students. The book was published in, 2012 and was a finalist in the Kindle Book Review’s, Best Indie Book Awards, in the Young Adult category the next year. Her second novel, The Latecomers Fan Club, was released in 2013 and was named a 2014 IndieReader Discovery Award winner. In 2015, Diane published The Sane Person’s Guide to Self-Publishing, a brief guide book to self-publishing, in order to help other aspiring writers get their work out into the world.  Diane holds a BA in American Studies from Mount Holyoke College and a Master’s Degree in teaching from Simmons college.  When she isn’t teaching or writing, she is the managing editor at The Worcester Review and the director of The Betty Curtis Worcester County Young Writers’ Conference. You can find her occasionally strumming her guitar and singing at various bars in central Massachusetts, where she lives with her husband.

For more information on this program, or on SBWC, please contact us at

Thayer Memorial Library
Lancaster, Massachusetts

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Another year ending can spur contemplation:  Did I accomplish what I wanted this year?  Do I have regrets?  What can I do better in the coming year?  For writers, often these thoughts center on their literary achievements, or lack thereof.  The new year may be coasting in on the thrill of a first time publication, or it may be weighing heavily because of too many rejections.  Eagerness to begin a new plot idea may be a cause for anticipation in the new year.  Disappointment from too little time writing may bring dread for a continuation of yet the same.

How we handle both the good and the bad depends on our perspective.  At the end of 2015 in early December, our writing community lost a very special friend, Tyke Crowley.  For both his life and his writing, his philosophy was “make every day count”.  While many of us want to do so, he actually did.  Every minute of every day counted toward living.  In the months before his death, he was working on a manuscript, which he did not complete, but when asked about any regrets, he still answered, “No.”  How many of us would feel the same way about our lives and our writing?

A new year brings an opportunity for new perspective:  What do I want to accomplish this year?  What can I do to ensure no regrets?  What will be better about this coming year?  Whether you’re working on a new literary endeavor, have a desire to complete one already begun, or simply want to write as life allows, may 2016 be your year for being true to yourself as a writer.

Paula Castner is a wife, mother of three, and a co-founder of Seven Bridge Writers' Collaborative as well as a freelance writer, playwright, writing and baking workshop facilitator, and drama director. She receives emails at