While many people flock to the Columbia County Library to read books, one group recently meeting there might want to write them.
CSRA Writers held their monthly meeting in Columbia County Monday for the first time in the group's more than 12 years of existence.
"We just knew the rooms were available, and that they were comfortable" said Elizabeth Estes, who started the group in 1996. "They're relatively private."
She said the majority of writers who attend the group's meetings live in the county and other group members agreed on the newest location in Evans.
CSRA Writers, which originally met at the Augusta-Richmond County Library and then at Barnes and Noble, had to leave their previous location because the bookstore moved to a new site at the Augusta Mall.
"A lot of our members are from Columbia County," said Estes, a Lincolnton resident. "It makes it very convenient for them."
During their first meeting at the library, the group critiqued a Sarah Palin limerick, a 10-minute play about baseball and a novel excerpt.
Estes said the writers also review a full spectrum of literature, including poetry, song lyrics, and short stories.
"We try very hard to let (people) know that nobody's trying to hurt anybody's feelings," she said. "We just want to encourage them."
Estes, who taught writing courses at Augusta State University for 25 years, created the group as a way for her former students to maintain support for their writing.
Though six writers were present at Monday's gathering, Estes said the meetings often draw eight to 16 people.
In addition to critiquing each other's works, the group seemed to enjoy socializing with one another.
"I like the camaraderie," said Steve Fox, who has attended meetings for at least 10 years. "I keep coming back to this group because I like the people. They're wonderful."
Fox, a former teacher at Hephzibah Middle School, will have a short story published in December, and said he felt like the group has helped him with his writing.
"It's more of a support group than a class or anything," the Martinez resident said. "I like to give back a little bit of what I got from the group."
CSRA Writers will meet at 5:30 p.m. on the third Monday in November in a meeting room downstairs at the library. Those who wish to attend meetings need only to bring eight manuscript copies of five to six pages for critiquing. There is no cost to attend meetings.
"Our major goal here is just to encourage writers to keep writing and give them positive feedback and support," Estes said.
For information about the group or the meetings, call Fox at (706) 836-7315.
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