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Arts: Writers' Center Update

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This just in from Barbara Shoup of the Writers' Center concerning their recent funding struggles...

"Two very simple rules:

A. You don't have to write.

B. You can't do anything else

The rest comes of itself."

Raymond Chandler

Dear Members and Friends of the Writers' Center of Indiana:

Thanks to so many of you for your overwhelmingly positive response to the news of our recent financial struggles and for your offers to help. The response from the community has been positive, as well. Over the several months, I've talked with numerous people the possibility of collaborating in a variety of ways as we move forward. The Indianapolis Art Center has very generously agreed to allow us to maintain our office and to use the classroom space on a limited basis for the next several months.

I am delighted to report that our Board of Directors has approved the following plan, which allows us to continue to foster some of our core programs, as well as introduce a few new ones.

Writing classes. Visit www.indianawriters.org to see the newly scheduled classes for spring. Note that the cost to members has been reduced from $12.50 per class hour to $10 per class hour, while the cost to nonmembers remains at $15 per hour. Teachers, students with a valid ID and senior citizens (60 and over) may take classes for half the nonmember price.

Evening with the Muse, a free program with featured poets and an open mic will continue to meet at 7 p.m. on the second Sunday of each month in the Writers' Center space.

The Gathering of Writers. The Gathering of Writers will be held on Saturday, November 9, 2009 at the Indianapolis Art Center. Alice Friman, award-winning poet and a founder of the WCI will give the keynote address. For those of you who don't already know what a fabulous poet, teacher, and person Alice is, check out www.alicefriman.com to see why I'm so excited that she agreed to come.

"Be a Better Writer" a new series of craft lectures is made possible by the Allen Whitehill Clowes Foundation. Inc, begins on at 7 p.m. on Monday, April 20 with a lecture by prose poet David Shumate. Visit www.indianawriters.org for details about this program and information about upcoming lectures.

The Writers' Center now has a Facebook page. If you haven't received an invitation to be a friend of the WC yet, visit www.facebook.com, search "The Writers' Center of Indiana" and "friend" us. You can be sure we'll confirm you!

Website We have begun work to make our website more user-friendly and to provide new options, including content about writing and publishing, Frequently Asked Questions, and opportunities for members to connect online in a variety of ways. Watch for the first changes in late spring or early summer.

That said, I think most of us relate to Chandler's two rules about writing. I'd adjust his conclusion to read, "The rest sort of comes of itself. " As we pursue this crazy compulsion to write, the world does offer up unexpected blessings and opportunities. Discovering the Writers' Center of Indiana was the most important of these for me; it opened in 1979, just when I gathered up the courage to try to write. Without it, I'm not at all sure I'd have figured out how to begin. But my unexpected blessing happen because Jim Powell, the founder of the Writers' Center, was out there making it happen and kept making it happen for years, often under the most difficult circumstances.

The leadership of the Writers' Center has pledged energy, time and talents to keep the Center alive and to continue to provide programs to enhance your writing life. But we will need your help. If you are a member, please renew your membership today. To those of you who aren't members, please consider joining our community now. For information, visit our website at www.indianawriters.org and to see our Spring classes visit http://www.indianawriters.org/main.asp?SectionID=15&TM=30649.32.

We'll keep you up to date on our progress in occasional E-blasts. Please feel free to call (317-255-0710) or e-mail (mail@indianawriters.org) if you have questions, and I'll do my best to answer them.

Please play your part in supporting the Center so that it can continue to be a beacon for those who want and need writing to be a part of their lives.

Barbara Shoup

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