Charlottesville’s own WriterHouse just celebrated its fifth anniversary. For any organization, five years is a nice healthy stretch of time. In a virtually all-volunteer one, it’s exemplary.
I say this with a certain amount of pride, because I’ve been an active member of WriterHouse almost from the very beginning. That is, it was founded in May and my membership dates from August of the same year. I’ve taken classes, attended readings, heard from visiting authors, and for the past couple years, volunteered with a group that helps keep the building open for use during the week. Open hours volunteers sit at the front desk to greet visitors and or other members who have come to take advantage of the space. We give tours, take membership applications and encourage people to enroll in classes.
Every November, WriterHouse plays host to another or my favorite groups, NaNo Wrimo. That’s National Novel Writing month for the uninitiated. Every November a motley group of people, across the US, pledge to write 50,000 words – the equivalent of a very short novel – in thirty days. A great many of them succeed and many here in Charlottesville do so thanks to WriterHouse, which provides not only space, but company and encouragement. I didn’t do it this year, but I have in the past, probably will again.
But you don’t have to be an obsessed fiction writer to get the most out of WriterHouse. A look at the website will demonstrate just how much is going on. In fact, what a good idea. Take a look at the WriterHouse website (writerhouse.org) – and if you live in central Virginia, and you’re not already a member, come on down. If I’m at the desk that day, I’ll be glad to give you’re the tour. And if I’m not there, I’m very sure there will be someone equally interested in making you feel welcome.
PS. There’s a link to WriterHouse on the side of this site.
Susan Shafarzek, co-editor in chief
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