By Mary Ann Kersten and Chris Winiecki
The Southwest Plaza critique group has a new name, Littleton Writers.
This group of talented writers formed in 1997, in the wake of our ever-inspiring Colorado Gold conference. Senior members of RMFW called a meeting to form new critique groups. Mary Ann Kersten volunteered to lead the group for members from the Southwest Denver area, and SWPlaza was formed.
In the beginning, only three members attended. Today we proudly have over 70 members and meet on two nights of the week.
Originally, people gathered in each others’ homes, but that became logistically complicated, so we moved to the Belmar Library. Soon, we were kicked out for being too noisy. We had over-crowded the library with one or two extra members each meeting. Next came restaurant gatherings, but the dining room proved too noisy, what with dishes clattering and loudly talking patrons. Then came our meetings at Borders book store in Southwest Plaza.
For many years, we met every Thursday at the tiny café within the bookstore. Sometimes our meetings got so crowded, writers were literally piled on top of one another like a cheerleader’s pyramid. You couldn’t hear, and you couldn’t concentrate.
Rather than limit attendance or turn people away, we added Tuesday meetings. Same format, different night. This worked well.
Then suddenly, Borders closed. We moved once again, this time to Panera Bread, and that’s where you’ll find us every Tuesday and Thursday, from 6:00-9:00 p.m.
Writers are welcome to attend either night—or both. And yes, you can read every single week, or only when you want. We’re open to all genres.
Littleton Writers has a pretty proud history. Many of our members have been Finalists—or won—Colorado Gold, Pikes Peak Fiction, The Sandy, Hearts of Denver, and other writing contests, both local and international. Some of our members are traditionally published, self-published or are under contract and awaiting publication.
Why the name-change? Easy. Simplify, simplify, simplify. We’re still the same group, with many of the same writers. (Like old soldiers, we never die. We just edit out).