Location: The Fond du Lac Area Writers (FAW) club is in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, U.S.A. Our members live in Fond du Lac County. We have no permanent physical space, no building, no room. For our meetings and workshops, M.P.T.C. has been kind enough to provide a room for us to use.
Our purposes are written in our By-Laws as follows:
“Article II: Purposes
A) To assist its members to improve their writing skills.
B) To provide the opportunity to meet with other writers and to create a network of information and resources for writers.
C) To promote good writing skills in the community.”
Mission: Our club exists to provide opportunities and support for those who see writing as a craft and an art form. It is both a self-help group and a social club. More than anything, however, we are a group of people who love to write. Our members include all ages and all skill levels from beginners to pros.
Focus: Our main emphasis is on exploring as many aspects of writing as we can, examining them from as many angles as we can.
Vision: We aspire to assist each of our club members to become the kind of writer they wish to be and to achieve their own personal writing goals.
Inclusivity: As the largest writer’s club in Fond du Lac, we feel a responsibility to be responsive to the needs of all writers, regardless of their skill level, age, gender, orientation, race or ethnic background, religious beliefs, political affiliation, genre preference, etc.
Camaraderie: Our meetings are a gathering of kindred spirits. “Birds of a feather flocking together.” Our spouses, relatives, friends, etc. probably don’t understand writing in the same way that we do. But our fellow club members do. And so we form friendships in our club that are special in their own way. Therefore, some of our members may come to our meetings just to be with people who understand them.
Support: We are also a writing support group, striving to provide an encouraging, nurturing environment where even our members with the most delicate artistic temperament can gain the confidence they need to succeed in their writing.
Meetings: Our meetings are held monthly, on the fourth Tuesday of each month. For the past several years, we have held them at Moraine Park Technical College, in the O Wing. The specific room may sometimes vary, but it is usually O104. See our “Meetings” page for further information. M.P.T.C. is located at 235 North National Avenue in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin 54935 U.S.A.
Workshops: We also have a more intense kind of meeting, designed for those who want more focus on critiquing. We call these “Writing Workshops,” and we hold them on the second Monday of each month, also at MPTC, and usually in the same room, O104. See our “Writing Workshops” page for further information.
Content: Our meetings are varied. As the primary writer’s club in FdL County, we try to cover everything writing-related that the membership wants. Sometimes we have a guest speaker. Most often we share what we have written, and offer suggestions to each other for improvement. The feedback from our fellow writers is usually both constructive and valuable. One way we keep things lively, fun and diverse is with our meetings’ features:
- Book Report
- Club News
- Writers News
- We are a club. We are not a class. Our meetings are highly interactive, with as many people participating as wish to. We teach each other, and we learn from each other. Often we learn more this way than we would in a writing class. Unlike a class, however, we have no expectations, no assignments and no grades.
- We are not just a poetry club–Our members also write all genres, styles and types.
- We are not just a fiction club–Our members also write factual pieces of any kind, including articles, letters to the editor, opinion columns, and books.
We often invite published authors, editors and other writing experts to speak to us. This serves several purposes:
- Knowledge: Their tips and insights are often invaluable.
- Experience: They impart actual proven knowledge in writing, agents, publishing, etc.
- Inspiration: The best and brightest of them inspire us by providing good examples for us to aspire to.
- Motivation: The more down-to-earth ones show us that if ordinary folks just like us can do it, so can we.
Social: There are two meetings each year which are more social in nature. Both of these are more casual get-togethers, for our members and their guests to get to know each other better, and have a bit more fun. See our “Events” page for details.
- Our July meeting is our outdoor summer picnic, which is held at a Fond du Lac Fairgrounds park picnic shelter.
- Our December meeting is our Christmas dinner, which is held at a local restaurant, most recently Faros.
Focus: Each meeting has a theme or prompt, a.k.a. suggested writing exercise, to spark members to write, although this is not mandatory–our writers are always encouraged to write whatever they want. The following list shows some of the most common prompts we use.
- January New Year. Theme: beginnings.
- February National letter writing month. Valentine’s Day, President’s Day. Themes: romance, Presidents.
- March Spring. Themes: new life, renewal.
- April National poetry writing month. Easter. Themes: rebirth, resurrection.
- May Memorial Day, Mother’s Day. Themes: remembrance, mothers.
- June Flag Day, Father’s Day. Themes: patriotism, symbolism, fathers. Nominations for new officers, for election in August.
- July Our annual summer picnic.
- August Theme: summer. Election of Officers and Board Member at Large.
- September Autumn begins. Themes: fall, bittersweet. Our club’s fiscal year begins on September 1. New officers begin their year.
- October Halloween. Theme—“Readings from the Dark Side of the Mind”–we write scary stories and read them in the dark.
- November NaNoWriMo / National novel writing month. Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving. Themes: veterans, gratitude.
- December Our annual Christmas Party. Themes: Christmas, holidays, endings.
Cost: There is no cost to attend any of our meetings. They are always free and open to the public. Club membership is not required to attend any of our meetings, workshops or events.
Membership: For those who wish to become official members, our dues are very inexpensive. They are intended primarily to rent the shelter for our picnic and miscellaneous expenses. Currently the cost of membership is $2.00 per year.
Official FAW Membership Benefits:
Involvement: Members can vote, hold office and serve as Committee Chairpersons.
In the loop: Members receive notification of each meeting via email.
ID: Members receive an official FAW membership card.