Getting Schooled

Learning Never Ends

By: Jay Wright

What? You’ve lived in Anderson County this long and never heard of the Foothills Writers Guild? Holy smoke, we’ve been a part of the greater Anderson arts community for almost fifty years. The main thing to know is that we promote the art and craft of writing to students, teachers, writer wannabes, emerging writers, and published authors – anyone who yearns to write, be it poetry, family memoirs, fiction, plays, essays, etc.

You may be thinking, “Yeah, I might like to do something like that someday, but I wouldn’t know where or how to start.” I have two responses to that. First, most of our sixty members started out thinking that too. Now over half of us are published authors. Second, everyone has a story to tell, so if you don’t tell yours, who will?

Every writer’s journey is different and can be very frustrating when we try to go it alone. We help each other learn by providing spring and fall writing contests, speakers who are award-winning authors, creative writing professors, or publishers, and occasional workshops.

We also provide learning opportunities on Zoom. We have a group that meets to share poems, another to share stories, and a third to share children’s poems and stories. In these Zoomcasts we also share new resources and offer something critical – emotional support, fresh ideas, and inspiration. Learning never ends.

By now I bet you’re thinking, “Oh, I don’t have time for all that.” None of us do. So, we pick and choose what we need for our individual journey.

Were you thinking, “I’m too young?” In case you were, our current youngest member is 16, but we’ve had younger. Maybe you were thinking: “I’m too old.” Well, our current oldest member turned 100 last summer. Her poetry has won state-wide awards, she published her first novel at age 98, and she still writes daily.

Finally, we plant seeds for the next generation of local writers. We give annual scholarships to faculty-selected writing students at Westside and TL Hanna High Schools, Tri-County Technical College, and Anderson University. We also offer scholarship recipients access to our contests, speakers, Zoomcasts, publishing, and portfolio-building opportunities.

There. Now you’ve heard of us. If you have other questions, shoot me an email at [email protected]. If you don’t, who will?