After my husband passed away, I deliberated for a long time as to what I wanted to do with my life. I finally realized that what I enjoyed was teaching writing to adults and taking writing classes. Living in a rural area that is two hours from any major city makes it difficult for me and other local writers to attend conferences and classes with highly recognized authors and poets who teach. In spring 2010, I opened Writers Circle around the Table, a writing studio where I teach classes and invite other writers to share their expertise with those who want to learn the writing craft.
With the help of friends and family,I transformed the lower level of my house into a classroom with tables and chairs for ten students. This area has a separate entrance through a deck which was resurfaced and screened. Furnished with two rocking chairs, a small table and other thrift store finds, it makes a perfect spot to sit and make notes for a future story or poem. Inside we created a mini-kitchen with microwave and refrigerator. A full bathroom replaced the original half bath.
A student coming to Writers Circle for the first time will find a casual space with many books available for borrowing, musical instruments hanging on the walls and family pictures displayed. I have a desk where I research family history on an old computer and another desk used for studio work. One visitor said after spending time looking at my books and photos, he could tell what I liked and what was important to me. The studio reflects who I am.
Because there is a private bedroom downstairs, instructors from out of town often spend the night in the studio. They tell me they sleep wonderfully there. They can use WiFi or watch TV if they only want local channels. I often find the instructors sitting on the deck in the morning drinking coffee and taking in the view while soaking in the silence of the mountains. I'm told that coming to Writers Circle to teach is like a retreat for the instructors who stay in the studio.
We strive for a relaxed atmosphere, a friendly and welcoming place where beginning as well as experienced writers and poets feel comfortable and safe. We suggest bringing a sweater or wrap even in summer.
The studio is fragrance-free. We use no air fresheners or scented cleaners, no harsh chemicals to bother those with allergies or respiratory problems. We ask our guests to refrain from using scented products, perfumes or essential oils.
We regret that we are not handicap accessible. To reach the studio one must climb about 15 steps from the parking area. We will make an effort to move a class to an accessible place if we are requested to do so by anyone who cannot climb the steps.
We have hosted well-published writers and poets from as far away as Atlanta, Raleigh, and Hickory NC. William Wright, Steve Harvey, Karen Holmes, Michael Diebert, Robert Brewer, Carol Crawford, Gene Hirsh, Scott Owens, Tara Lynne Groth and many others have held workshops here.
We hope you will join us soon as a student or a teacher. Call me, Glenda Beall, at 828-389-4441
Visit the Studio Schedule page to see our line up of classes for 2016.