Fort Mill Times

Writers group meeting March 12 in Lake Wylie

Writers don’t have to write alone.

A new group has formed in Lake Wylie for anyone interested in strengthening their creative writing skills, and seeking advice and criticism from fellow writers.

Authors Patrice Gaines and Richard Barnes co-founded the group, which first met Jan. 16. They will meet next at 10 a.m. March 12 at The Bagel Boat.

Gaines was inspired by a post she saw from Barnes on Nextdoor, a private social network. He said his novels would make great Christmas presents.

“I thought that was a great idea, but it also reminded me of how we writers can get ideas from one another and learn from one another,” Gaines said. “I thought about how writing is such a solitary act, but that it's nice to sometimes be with other writers.”

Gaines posted seeking others who would like to form a group. Last month, almost a dozen met.

“My greatest hope for the group is that it will last,” Barnes said. “Groups like this seem to evolve based on the needs of everyone.”

Gaines originally wanted publishers, marketing experts and agents to come speak to the group, along with attending events or lunch with other writers.

“I think I need to get outside of my creative mind but be in the middle of creative folks,” she said. “So I am enjoying the camaraderie, and I have been inspired and pushed by the fresh energy that comes from new writers, people just beginning their writing journey.”

Gaines is the author of “Laughing in the Dark” and “Moments of Grace.” Barnes’ latest novel is a WWII historical fiction, “Enemies.”

“To join the group, all they need to do is show up,” Barnes said.

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