It started on a whim when I called up a few friends and acquaintances to see if they’d be interested in meeting together to work on writing. Since then, the Bathurst Muses have met regularly since January, 2007. Three of the original five members (me, Anita and Shila) continue to be stalwart members while a fourth, Lynn Horton, is on leave this year. Like any group, we’ve gone through repeated phases of “forming, storming, norming” and ultimately, performing. We’ve talked a lot about how to work together productively, debated expectations and responsibilities, and more recently, discussed ways to manage membership. These discussions have been recorded, we hope, for the benefit of other writing groups.
What has changed? In short, we’ve all become better much writers. Not only do we share and critique work, but we’ve learned and shared a lot about the craft of writing. We’ve all taken courses, attended workshops, listened to podcasts and read a lot about the craft of writing. We’ve hunkered down at writing retreats in Creemore, Grand Bend and New York. We’ve been privileged to welcome editors, agents, playwrights, and several authors to talk with us about their work in order to enhance our own.
And we’ve had many successes. We’ve printed five anthologies and hosted five readings to increasingly large audiences. Since 2007, stories critiqued by the group have won awards, been short-listed, long-listed and published. Members and past members have published one memoir, ten short pieces and two podcasts! Here’s to ten more years!
Corny, I know. Our fifth annual reading and anthology explored six of the seven deadly sins. The sell-out crowd took part in a quiz to see how well they could match the stories (not the authors!) to the sins. Here’s a gallery of highlights! Many thanks to the University of Toronto’s Graduate Student Union for hosting this cosy event. And special thanks to Leyla Godfrey for the photos!
We’re down to six deadly sins. Two members have taken leaves of absence and their “sins” will be omitted from the 2016 Anthology. The rest of us are still grappling with our assigned themes. I thought it might help to consider the opposite virtues:
But which sin will be missing? Find out on Sunday, November 6 at the Graduate Student Union.
“In my short ballet career I remember being a rose, a sunflower, a bunny rabbit with white ears and tail, and finally a ballerina.” – Alison Colvin, Pale pink.
Alison’s charming and funny story about her early adventures with ballet has been published in the latest issue of Paperplates! Brava!
Paperplates is a Toronto-based, online magazine that publishes one issue a year. Alison’s’ story appears in the “homeplate” section which features short personal essays, reminiscences and travel accounts. The magazine also features short stories, one-act plays, poems, extended travel pieces, interviews and book reviews. Have a look!
The theme for this year’s Bathurst Muses Anthology is sin. More specifically, the seven deadly sins. As a writing challenge, we drew lots to choose one of :
Not everyone was content with their allotted sin so trades were permitted. Greed was swapped for wrath. Lust was embraced, sloth and gluttony reluctantly acknowledged. Lucky (or unlucky?) Lynn drew the wild card. She may choose her own sin–as yet to be revealed. Launch date: November 6, 2016.
Just in time for Mothers’ Day, two of Alison Colvin’s stories were broadcast on Life Rattle Radio. In “Hot Flash” a middle-aged mother tries to keep her cool as she grapples with events in her now-adult daughters’ lives against the back drop of a celebrity sex scandal. In “The Party,” listeners meet a much older mother with memory issues who is still settling into a long-term care home.
Listen to Alison read her stories and enjoy!