The Room to Write and Blossom

Post date: May 25, 2017 11:55:48 AM

On Monday and Wednesday evenings in the town of Wakefield there is a sanctuary for writers and illustrators providing a quiet space to write, illustrate, meet with a critique group, get inspired, stay motivated and enjoy a sense of community. The Room to Write is a grassroots initiative that evolved from a local writer’s need to find a quiet space to write and connect with other local writers. The idea for The Room to Write began very simply. Founder Colleen Getty, explains, “Whenever I tried to carve out time to focus on my writing it was hard to ignore a pile of laundry, dirty dishes or the sounds of the rest of the family in the other room. No matter where I tried to find a corner to write, my children would always seek me out. Anything creative usually got cut from the ‘to do’ list, but I needed to start making it more of a priority.” So—she did.

What started as a need for a quiet room has evolved along the way. Two installments of the “Write After Dinner” Series at the Albion Cultural Exchange were organized as a fun way to reach out to non-writers as well as support local charities, promote downtown restaurants and sustain the sense of community so vibrant in Wakefield. As for writers, The Room to Write is reaching out to them in several ways. Beginning next month on June 15th local writer, David Goodberg, will lead a writer’s critique group in the space on the third Thursday of each month.Writing is the backbone of so much that we are surrounded by in our lives. From cookbooks to screenplays, website and marketing content to poetry—the space is for writers of every genre and form. Emily Seward of Kids’ Test Kitchen uses her time at The Room to Write to focus on creating and writing her recipes, marketing materials and the variety of content that is required as part of running any successful business. Emily shared, “Wednesdays are a half-day for my kids, so I find that I don't have enough time to get into the ‘flow’ of my work. Wednesdays are the opposite of productive for me. Totally looking forward to spending a couple hours in The Room to Write tonight. My first visit last week was SUPER productive!”

There have been two Meet & Greets for writers and illustrators with a third planned for June 5th at the WCAT Studios where authors and illustrators will discuss ideas for collaborating with WCAT Staff to adapt their stories and journeys to the screen. Most recently, a partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Stoneham andWakefield resulted in a space-sharing agreement in the Wakefield Club after Club hours. Wakefield Club Director, Bethany Riley, was enthusiastic about opening up the space for writers and illustrators after Club hours. She responded to the proposal, “Love the idea of the space being used. Let's get the logistics down and make it happen.”The Room to Write hopes to offer programs and a supportive writing community for adults with an eye to opening the same concept up to kids in the future. Colleen Getty reflects on her years as a middle school ELA teacher, “My favorite part about teaching English was the creative writing portion of the year when I would guide my students through the assembly of individual portfolios. It was middle school, but we would workshop pieces in the same manner and with the same respect for the writing and writer as students would in a college writing class. Students would edit draft after draft until the written pieces were polished. It was hard work, but my students were always so proud of their final portfolios and the authenticity of their written portraits. I would like to get back to that—help young people experience how satisfying it can be to express themselves creatively through carefully crafted words. With all the instant ways young people can communicate these days, they do not always slow down and consider what it is they are saying and the weight behind words. Thoughtful writing can be very therapeutic for all ages as it encourages contemplation and reflection. Those are skills our young people need now more than ever and they don’t need any fancy technology to do it. In fact, technology is often a distraction and a hindrance. They just need a pen, some paper and a quiet space.” That is something to look forward to once The Room to Write is solidly established for adults.

Presently though, The Room to Write welcomes writers and illustrators of every variety to take refuge in the shared space after hours at the Boys & Girls Club of Wakefield in the Civic Center on Main Street. Writing is a quiet art and does not require expensive equipment, special lighting or much space. It’s a very humble art form and for all those same reasons writers are often spread out, isolated and creating on their own. The Room to Write is hoping to change that by not only being a source from which writers can gather information but also by providing a supportive community made up of people with a shared passion. To learn more about The Room to Write, to become a member or to receive information about future writer/illustrator events, please contact Colleen Getty at or come down to the Boys & Girls Club of Wakefield located on the ground-level of the Americal Civic Center at 467 Main Street to see the space.