Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Visited a "Writer's Club" meeting

The location was nice, a major bookstore. The attendance was high. Well over a hundred, and they were out of chairs, so some people were standing in the back.

But the content was a little narrow.

The event started with two member-authors reading their own work, which was followed by the three winners of last year's short story contest each reading a part of their work. After that there was to be a lecture from a successful, professional visiting author on the subject of reading your own work in public, to be followed by various member-authors reading a single page of their work and getting critiqued by the authority. Basically, this was "reading your work in public" night, and that wasn't what I was interested in. It was all fiction, as well.

When I looked at the membership profile (for new members to fill out) I noticed the same skew in the assumed demographic. The middle section read:
I'm writing in the following genre(s):
_short story

other: _______________________________________

Question: What's missing from these options?
Answer: 80% of the dewey decimal "top level" categories. The tickbox options all pretty much fall under the headings "opinion" and "fiction". No mathematics or physics, no geology or geography, no history or technology or business, nothing like that. Even the whole genre "nonfiction" combined didn't rate a mention.

My gut feel is that their definition of "writer" doesn't really include folks like me.

So first blush: Several hours of authors reading their own work was unappealing, so I left after the first hour. The membership form indicated a pretty much complete focus on fiction & opinion, so I haven't joined. I'll go to another one nonetheless. No use making decisions on a single data point.

No comments:

Post a Comment