A year ago, after finishing my second session of Writing our Lives with Vanessa Martir and returning from VONA I decided to create a book and writing club: The Musa Writing and Reading Group, a group that will not only benefit me as a writer but that will benefit other women who like me are writers but wear numerous hats besides the writer one.
One of the best lessons I learned from WOL and VONA was to challenge myself to read more books and to read books I will not usually read. If you’re a writer you must read! So I took this lesson and created this group which is based on supporting all members to push their writing and to continuing reading. As writers of color, it is important to support writers like us who tell stories that resonate with us.
I reached out to six of former class members: Sarah, Sharon, Michelle, Mariana, Andreina and Mariela. They all accepted and the Musa was born.
I didn’t want to simply read and write but for each of us to submit our work and fight that fear of pressing send or submit and have our stories published as well as signing for workshops, fellowships, residencies, publications and so forth.
We meet once a month in my house to discuss the chosen book of the month from a reader and writer’s perspective, pretty much we dissect the book as a biologist dissects an animal. We write from prompts and share work in progress for the group’s feedback. All of this while sharing food and laughter.
I am proud of all the members, who are incredibly talented, strong women, bad ass writers who continue to inspire me to be a better writer and a better human. They challenged me daily with their critical thinking and their hunger to constantly learn and feed their minds with more.
In the course of this year we have created a strong writing sisterhood and have pushed ourselves far beyond our own expectations from when the group was born. We have been published, attended VONA, Dos Brujas, Poet’s House, joined fellowships and given our stories a home.
Mujeres! We did this! Proud of you and grateful for allowing me to share this journey with you and witness this magic, this growth, this writing life!
As part of our Anniversary celebration, I am sharing with you our members’ book reviews and their testimonial about their experience with the group. Enjoy!