Calling All Writers! Join the Rough Draft Collab Writer’s Club.

No matter what kind of writer you are, or if you’re just getting started, join the Rough Draft Collab.

The club meets every other month and is led by local published author CherieDawn Haas.

The club had its inaugural meeting in February, but you can join at any time. If you’re interested in joining, mark your calendar for the next meeting on Tuesday, April 16 from 6:30-8:30 pm. The library caught up with Haas to discuss what club-goers can expect, the value of having a writing community and her own writing process.

Haas has published three books: Girl on Fire; Personified: Poetry, Prose, Short Stories & Words of Advice for Young People; and, most recently, Ashes for William. She’s also an online editor for the art division of Streamline Publishing.

She has both led and been a part of other writer’s workshops; often, she leaves such events feeling that her cup is filled rather than empty.

“I’m always inspired by the people that I meet,” said Haas. “And I feel like they’re my peers, even if it’s something that I’m leading. I respect my fellow writers showing up because I was in their shoes at one point and still am, in many ways.”

Rough Draft Collab is a casual club where participants can discuss both their accomplishments—whether it’s finishing a chapter, writing a first sentence, publishing a book or anything in between—as well as challenges.

“We can address those challenges in a group where I can bring my experience to the table and try to help anybody as much as I can,” said Haas. “I like when people share their challenges because it helps others see that they’re not alone, no matter what stage of the writing path they’re on.”

Haas is currently in the drafting stage of her next book, what she described as an “intergenerational story about a woman who has a living mother and a daughter.” This time around, her process has differed from past drafting experiences. For one, she spent around a year crafting its outline. During that time, she also studied the craft, including taking an online writing course at Northern Kentucky University.

Then came 2022’s NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month. Held in November, the initiative encourages participants to write a 50,000-word draft. Haas did just that; in the year that followed, she rewrote and refined the draft to better develop the characters, plot and other features. She’s now in the revision stage. She handed the draft over to a beta reader—in Haas’s case, a friend who is a good reader—and shared it with a critique group. The latter have been refining the draft sentence-by-sentence.

“We’re almost copyediting,” said Haas, “which I didn’t expect at this point. I think, because I did all the groundwork of outlining, it’s more finished than I thought it would be.”

Haas invoked a nugget of wisdom—a quote from Ernest Hemingway—she shares with writers: “The only kind of writing is rewriting.”

Beyond writing, Haas is also a yoga instructor, a practice that has informed all aspects of her life, including writing. You can catch her teaching in-person classes at Studio 43 in Alexandria. Based in Campbell County, she lives on a small farm, where she built herself a writer’s cabin.

“If you miss one meeting, don’t feel like you can’t come. The club is open to drop-ins. When you come, be prepared to share whatever is on your mind about writing,” said Haas. “It’s going to be a group discussion. And I think people will come away feeling supported, inspired and motivated.”

All levels, backgrounds, ages, genres and types of writers—from poetry to prose—are welcome. As Haas said, “even if you don’t call yourself a writer yet, come.”

Registration is required. Check cc-pl.org/events for meeting dates. Learn more about CherieDawn at cheriedawn.com.

 


 

Writer’s Block

Are you a writer in need of inspiration? Consider signing up for Writer’s Block, a monthly prompt delivered to your email at no cost or obligation to you.

The prompts—meant to spark creativity—are curated by Danielle Heiert, the Cold Spring Branch’s adult/teen services programmer. All you have to do to sign up is email Danielle at dheiert@cc-pl.org and let her know you’re interested in Writer’s Block. Happy writing! Read more at cc-pl.org/writers-block.

 


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Browse our "Hot Summer Reads" picks at any branch this month (and then fill your tote bag for your next vacation). 🔥 ... See MoreSee Less

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Browse our Hot Summer Reads picks at any branch this month (and then fill your tote bag for your next vacation). 🔥