Upon moving to Lincoln, she
had been disappointed to find that the
community did not have a writing club. At her husband's behest and
with much guidance from Richard Sumrall, Lincoln Public Library
director, she came seeking other writers who shared her hunger
for a shared passion. With 10 names on her list of RSVPs, maybe she
was still worried no one would show. It's unlikely that she imagined
her newly founded group would spin off two other groups, more than
triple in membership and still be going strong 10 years later.
the 15 individuals who showed up for the first meeting, many
belonged for years and still belong to this day. Fay Stubblefield,
one of the first people to arrive, serves as the group's secretary
"I don't believe our writing groups would have survived without
the dedication of Fay," said Johnson.
Members range in age from 7 to 87, and their motivations vary
from honing their skill to enjoying the fellowship of like-minded
individuals and rejoicing in an encouraging, noncritical
The Oasis Memories class and The Christian Village Writers' Group
have been born out of the Lincoln Writers Club.
"This is our time," said Annabelle Boyd, who loves hearing other
people's stories during meetings.
The group's activities have been "the spark in my starter," said
Betty Armstrong, who began writing her memoirs recounting growing up
on a farm.
Hazel Tanner credits her excellent memory to the group's
observation exercises intended to cultivate a writer's ability to
capture the details in life and recount them on paper.
Over the course of the last decade, the group has been asked to
judge a children's writing contest about Abraham Lincoln several
times. They've hosted guest speakers, sent members to other writing
groups and classes, and celebrated the publication of members'
articles and books.
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After their beginning at Lincoln Public Library, they met for a
time at Einstein's coffee shop and then settled into their current
home at the Meyer-Evans Student Center on the Lincoln College
A farewell banquet honoring Lincoln College President John
Hutchinson was held on campus the same night as the club marked 10
years, making it impossible for him to attend the anniversary
celebration. In a letter expressing his regrets, Hutchinson stated
he considers himself a "kindred spirit" with the club, as he has
completed two novels and is currently at work on a book about Tad
Lincoln. He shared with the group the three best writing tips ever
given to him: "1. Write. 2. Write. 3. Write some more."
There will be much more writing going on in the Lincoln Writers
Club, as founder Rebecca Johnson said she is looking forward to the
next 10 years with the group "as eagerly as I looked forward to that
first meeting so long ago."
The group meets monthly in the Alumni Room of the Student Center
at Lincoln College, and anyone interested in writing is invited to
attend. For more information or to read the club's meeting minutes
and writing submissions from the last 10 years, you can visit the
Lincoln Public Library.
[By CANDRA LANDERS]