Write-up from the Chronicle Herald newspaper:
Members of the Evergreen Writers Group come together from all walks of life. The group serves to motivate and encourage each other to greater efforts and accomplishments.
The group’s members come from all over the Halifax and Dartmouth area and have various levels of writing experience. They also have, as they say on their website, “… interests in almost any genre, from historical fiction and memoirs to mysteries and science fiction.” Among their ranks are poets, short story writers, novelists and playwrights.
The group can trace its origins back to a creative writing course held by Russell Barton in 2012. The course was held at Evergreen House, part of the Dartmouth Heritage Museum, and the name seemed rather appropriate.
Almost all of the 12 members of the course wrote a short story for the group’s first anthology, Out of the Mist, which was self-published in 2014 after two years of hard work. The anthology was a collection of ghost stories — some real and some fictional — all based in Atlantic Canada.
“Writing is like therapy. It helps you deal with issues. It’s like a form of release,” said Paul Bourgeois, one member of the group.
Tom Robson, a Yorkshireman who came over to Nova Scotia in the early 1970s and fell in love with the province, has a subtly different take.
“It is a hobby with a product and I feel the product should be shared. It takes courage to open yourself up and become vulnerable, but by doing so you improve the product. That’s another benefit of working together as a group.”
The group provides social benefits to its members, but it also spurs them on to write more — and provides a forum for them to present their efforts to each other.
The group’s second anthology, Off Highway: Journeys of Nova Scotia Writers, is a collection of short stories and poems linked together through the theme of a journey, either literally or metaphorically. It was published recently and will be formally launched at two separate events coming up.
The first will be at the Just Us! Cafe, located at 5896 Spring Garden Rd., on Dec. 9 at 2 p.m. The second launch event will be at the Alderney Gate Public Library (main level) on Dec. 16 at 2 p.m.
Judi Risser, who took the cover photographs for the new anthology, said, “I consider writing to be an art form and we all have a need to self-express and to connect. We share that connection with others.”
The foreword of the new anthology is by acclaimed author Lesley Choyce, a U.S.-born author who has lived in Nova Scotia for many years and is the creator of more than 80 books, including novels, non-fiction and poetry.
Both anthologies by the Evergreen Writers Group are completely self-made and are available on amazon.ca and in some gift shops.
The Evergreen Writers Group meets on the first and third Wednesday of each month and new members are always welcome. To learn more, visit evergreenwritersgroup.wordpress.com.