Sometimes I think there’s a place you’ve just got to know about and my Public Service Announcements (PSAs) will give you the full skinny.
One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to contribute a piece of writing. I’m not there yet, but I took a very exciting step in that direction last night. I recently joined a writing group and just attended my first meet up. There, I was able to share my work and get inspired in a safe space.
Through a bookstagram account I follow on Instagram, I discovered Abby Adesanya and her fabulous community, Novella. Novella is a group that celebrates women and the art of storytelling. In the most basic of terms, Novella is a writing club. Each month, you receive a prompt via the group e-newsletter and an invitation to a salon where you gather over your shared love of writing. If you attend the salon, you must come with a piece and be prepared to share. Scary? For me, yes. Comforting and motivating? Heck yes.
This month’s prompt was Space. As writers, we were free to interpret that word however we saw fit, whether it be the moon and stars or the physical distance between objects or emotional space. Not only was the topic fluid, the writing method was subject to interpretation as well so I stuck to my preferred style of personal essay.
This month’s salon was held at the Lou & Grey store in Flatiron, which happens to have a cool upstairs space (who knew?!). They had outfitted the area with millennial pink poufs, some swag (including a store discount, which is awesome because their stuff is so cozy), food from Dig Inn, and wine from Winc. After eating, drinking, and mingling for about 30 minutes, we broke out into groups of five and shared our work. Post-breakout, we listed to a selected speaker share her work, followed by a Q&A. This month’s selected speaker was Tara, a student getting her MFA in poetry, who shared some of her work that aligned with the theme. Admittedly, I am not a poetry fan, but I tell she was talented and appreciated her art.
Not only did I love the food and wine sitch, I was thrilled to look around and see so many women in my same headspace. The beauty of this event and this group is that it is a diverse group of women. We came from different backgrounds, but we were all women and all shared a passion for writing paired with a desire to learn from each other. I was the only member of my breakout who prepared a personal essay (the others all came with short stories or excerpts from a longer novel-in-progress), but I loved hearing what the other women brought to the table. I joined this group primarily to gain inspiration for my own collection of essays but also to, perhaps, expand into the world of fiction. As someone who is really trying to make this hobby a “thing”, Novella offered a perfect space for me to work on my writing.