As my husband can attest, writing books can be a solitary process, one where you question your ideas, storylines, characters, and even writing abilities. It can help to find other like-minded writer-ly type folks to serve as a sounding board. Several local Kansas City authors discovered the same thing and formed the Wordwraiths writing collective, a writing support group. Read on to discover what Sarah, Kristin, Caycee, Ian, Rod, Chris, and Jeni find most helpful about a writing support group.
Please introduce yourself.
Hi there! We are Sarah, Kristin, Caycee, Ian, Rod, Chris, and Jeni. Collectively we are The Wordwraiths. The Wordwraiths writing collective is our writing group, and recently we have evolved into Wordwraith Books, an independent publishing endeavor.
When did you get into writing and what do you love about it?
Most of us began writing very young and grew up loving books. We all came into writing at different times and for different reasons. That’s the fun thing about being a creative person in a group of creative people. Our experiences and perceptions are different, but we are all able to bring those experiences to the group in a way that unifies us.
Tell us about The Wordwraiths.
A few years ago Jeni, Sarah, and Kristin attended the New Letters Weekend Writing Conference at UMKC’s Diastole House. Sarah and Kristin knew each other from high school and the three of them decided to meet up some time to talk about writing and get a group together. The purpose, then, was accountability – they wanted a support system to keep them on track with their writing projects. They did finally meet several months later and decided to invite another person into the group. They’ve changed and evolved a lot since then, but Caycee, Ian, Chris, and Rod joined through mutual connections and word-of-mouth.
The mission of Wordwraith Books is to deliver eye-opening stories in multiple genres with engaging content and professional design for readers worldwide.
What made you want to create or join Wordwraiths?
[Jeni] A long time before I started meeting up with Sarah to write, Rod tried to get me to start a writing group with him. At that point in time, it felt like it was too much work and too much responsibility to handle (I had a very young son). Fast forward a few years, and I had to go to him and let him know there was now a writing group! I think The Wordwraiths works because it really just started as friends hanging out to inspire each other to write, nothing more and nothing less. These days the expectations are much higher, but it still works at the core because that’s still what we are.
[Kristin] I was looking to take a step towards being serious about my career as a writer. I knew that I needed to associate myself with people that had the same goals.
[Ian] At the time I found this group I was desperately in need of accountability. This group has been that and so much more. They are a support group, they are a knowledge base, they are passion for writing and publishing, they are faith that we can all do this. This is the best thing that could have happened to my writing practice.
[Rod] Jeni notified me at the start that some girls she met at a conference wanted to start a writing group. She had all kinds of great things to say and, since I trusted her to an immeasurable level (still do), I jumped at the opportunity to be among them. I was floundering on my own. I had no idea how much synergy would flow, or even could flow, from even a small number of people all having the same passion for something. You can do SO much more when you have “backup!” People to lean on, people to bounce ideas off of, people who maintain your confidence and encourage you to grow and learn, people you can trust and call friends. It’s indescribable.
Who is on your team and what roles do they play in The Wordwraiths?
We have decided to limit the number of our members to keep the group small and manageable. Everyone in our group has strengths in different areas of publishing. First and foremost, we are all active writers seeking publication. Within the group we take on different roles: Kristin and Sarah take care of all the business legalities, Kristin also with treasury, Jeni does our social media and book timeline planning, Ian runs the website, Rod gives contacts with publishers, graphics, and formatting, and Caycee and Chris are both teachers that help with accountability. We all provide resources for each other, as well as support and beta readers.
Do you gather regularly to write together, or are your books mostly solo endeavors?
Yes. We have two designated time slots of the week (on Monday and Thursday nights), where we meet up to write. We also do planned “Write & Wine” nights or occasional write-in days throughout the year. We all do Nanowrimo together and attempt the Camp Nanos in April and July. We try to attend as many conferences, conventions, and workshops together as we can.
What was the first book Wordwraith Books offered?
We mostly consider our first official book to be CAPSULE, by Kristin Helling, because it is our first full length fiction novel. CAPSULE was launched March 1st and is a powerful science fiction story.
What future plans lay ahead for your collective?
We will be very, very busy this year, as we have a short story or novel to publish every single month of 2016! Watch for us! We’ll also be on panels this year at ConQuest, and plan to have a table to sell our books at some of the local conventions later this year. In 2017 we hope to make the rounds at several of the indie author events in the Kansas City area (like Books in the Bottoms, etc).
Where can someone find more information about The Wordwraiths?
Anything else you’d like to share?
While we aren’t recruiting for new members at this time, we would love to get to know other writing groups in the area. Reach out, it’s always nice to learn from others doing the same thing!
EDITOR’S NOTE: Are you a local Kansas City writer? Do you write on your own, or are you a part of a writing group? Tell us about your experience and work with a comment below!