A Space for Literary Growth: Writers Anonymous at Shift

Taylor Reisdorf

On the third Wednesday of each month, the Chippewa Valley Writers Guild and SHIFT Cyclery & Coffee Bar host a Writers Anonymous workshop. Writers Anonymous – which started in April – is inclusive to writers of all kinds and skill levels, and is even open to those who don’t necessarily identify as “writers.” The write-in simply aims to be a safe and supportive creative space that allows for literary growth in a group setting. While writing is something typically done solo, with a writer typing away at his or her computer alone, the group environment of Writers Anonymous adds a layer of inspiration, motivation, structure, and accountability that doesn’t always come with independent work. The write-in begins with social time that allows for participants to settle in and grab a delicious drink. Once everyone is settled and their thirsts are quenched, conversations are quieted and the writing commences. Writers can use the quiet writing time to free-write about whatever they please, or follow one of the prompts provided on the Writers Anonymous Facebook page. At a recent meeting, participants could opt to write 50 sentences and choose the “juiciest” one as the basis for a short story. After about an hour of writing, writers discuss their progress or literary aspirations with their tablemates. However, if the creative juices just keep on flowing and can’t be stopped, writers can choose to continue writing. The next Writers Anonymous will take place from 7-9pm July 18 at the back tables at SHIFT (615 Graham Ave.)