Friday Speak Out!: The Wednesday Morning Writing Group

Friday, March 22, 2024
by Dena Rueb Romero

The sun streams in the large windows of Jane’s house. Outside, winter still reigns, but as members of the Wednesday Morning Writing Group, we are oblivious to the weather. We first met in 2009 in a memoir writing class, and when the class ended, decided that writing personal stories was something we needed to do. Of the thirty plus students in the class, fifteen agreed to meet twice a month and to continue writing.

Today, fourteen years later, six writers sit around Jane’s dining room table. Of the first fifteen members, some have died or moved away. We have gotten older, and some of us have health issues. When Covid prevented us from being together in person, we met on Zoom and were grateful we could still see and support each other. For those who stayed, WMWG continues to provide something we haven’t found elsewhere, and we convene once a quarter.

We range in age from 65 to 85 and come from different backgrounds, but we share the desire to describe our lives – happy, sad, humorous, challenging– in memoir. We trust each other and have the confidence to read our essays to the group. Writing and fond caring hold us together. Just as good friends pick up where they leave off, so we resume when we meet, whether on Zoom or in person.

Why do we write? Some of us want a larger audience, through either self-publishing or submitting to an established publisher. Mostly, however, we write for ourselves, to hold onto an event or experience and examine it for meaning. The reward is often a new understanding or perspective.

It is hard work, requiring time, inspiration, and self-discipline. It means throwing out first attempts, starting over, and walking away when words and ideas don’t come together the way one hoped. Sometimes the subject of an essay reveals itself, sometimes it becomes apparent while writing, and sometimes it feels like pulling teeth. Yet the process can be satisfying, especially when five, ten, even fifteen pages resolve into a finished essay.

Our writing group gives us structure and a deadline. If you have signed up to read at the next meeting, your piece must be ready, even if only as a rough draft. Bringing an unfinished piece is acceptable, for group members will offer ideas to help finalize the writing. The support is invaluable.

This morning Jane will read about her trip to France, and Stuart has a long piece about his recently deceased brother. We are at Jane’s long table, each with a cup of tea or coffee, ready to listen, make suggestions, and highlight sections that are especially well-written. And I am delighted to report that my own book will be released shortly, thanks to the support and encouragement from the Wednesday Morning Writers Group.

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Dena Rueb Romero grew up in Hanover, New Hampshire, the daughter of a Lutheran mother and a Jewish father, both refugees from Nazi Germany. She graduated from Brandeis University and received an MA in English from the University of Virginia and an MSW from Boston College Graduate School of Social Work. Her previous publications include Gretel’s Albums, a collaborative bilingual internet project with researcher Bernhild Voegel (, and an essay about German citizenship in A Place They Called Home: Reclaiming Citizenship, Stories of a New Jewish Return to Germany. All for You is her first full-length book. Dena still lives in Hanover. Find her online at Facebook

Would you like to participate in Friday "Speak Out!"? Email your short posts (under 500 words) about women and writing to: marcia[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com for consideration. We look forward to hearing from you!


Angela Mackintosh said...

What a lovely and inspiring post, Dena! I've also met writers in a workshop, and we ended up forming our own writing group and continue to support each other. It's a gift to give and receive feedback.

How wonderful to hear about your forthcoming book! Is it a memoir? I hope you come back to tell us about it and celebrate when it publishes. :)

Anonymous said...

Dear Angela, thank you for your kind comment. I am glad you too have a group to support you and give feedback on your writing. I am excited and nervous about the book release. Fingers crossed it goes well. Best wishes to you and for your writing,

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