Five Ways to Get Involved With the Twin Cities Literary Community, by Emma Johnson-Rivard
Writing can feel like a solitary and often lonely thing. I’m of the belief that engaging with the larger artistic community can invigorate both your own work and the work of people around you. Go out there and see what other writers are doing. Share your work, collaborate, or just have some good conversations. The world might be big and scary, but it does not have to be lonely. Other writers are out there and thankfully, the Twin Cities is full of them. Here are just five ways to engage with the Twin Cities literary community.
Go to Local Events
Did you know the Twin Cities hosts a vibrant literary community and some of them like to give public readings? Now you do! See what other writers in the community are doing and share your own work. Take advantage of what the Twin Cities already offers.
Check out Hamline University’s Green Light Reading Series (https://www.hamline.edu/HUEventsDetail.aspx?id=4295036526)
And look at Raintaxi’s wonderful calendar of public events (http://www.raintaxi.com/literary-calendar/)
Support Independent Bookstores
No one will champion the work of writers more than bookstores. Thankfully, the Twin Cities hosts a number of them. Not only will you connect with the larger community of readers and writers in the Twin Cities, you can walk away with a good book and support a small local business.
Here’s a list of Twin Cities bookstores to get you started: (https://www.twincities.com/2017/04/29/independent-bookstore-st-paul-mn/)
Attend Writing Groups
Want a second pair of eyes on your work? Want to collaborate or just have conversations about craft with other writers? The Twin Cities have you covered. Want to meet up and talk with other women writers? How about aspiring novelists? Political writers? People of color? Thankfully, the Twin Cities is a hub of writers and like you, a lot of them would like to meet and talk shop. Here are just a few:
Start Your Own Writing Group
Maybe you don’t see a group that fits your niche, or the one that does no longer fits your schedule. Rejoice, the universe has given you an opportunity! Want to sit down with coffee and talk about graphic novels? Make a group for that! How about spoken word poetry? The tools are in your hands. Start a group on meetup.com and spread the word today. If you have a passion and the commitment to sharing it with other people, then by all means: share. Art is better when we collaborate.
Support The Accomplishments of Your Fellow Writers
Celebrate when your fellow writers hit milestones. It’s incredibly lonely to go about this alone. Be happy when your fellows find success and they’ll celebrate you in turn. Find your joy with the people around you, no matter how great or how small. Don’t mistake, writing is hard work. But writing is something we do out of love – why shouldn’t there be joy in that as well?
Go out there, my friends. Write. Create. Connect.
Emma Johnson-Rivard is a Masters student at Hamline University. She currently lives in Minnesota with her dogs and far too many books.