WILMINGTON — According to Forbes Magazine, the self-publishing world has tripled in size since 2014. A group of local writers has contributed to that trend. Through the Wilmington Memorial Library writing groups program, they have gained published author status. Their anthology, The Writers Next Door, will be unveiled to the public at a book launch event on Aug. 20 at 7 p.m. at the town library. It is part of the on-going summer author series.
The 11 anthology authors will use a panel discussion format to share information. All are Wilmington residents. For most of them, it is their first time publishing. That night they will talk about their backgrounds and the origins of their stories. They will also sign the books. Refreshments will be served. Proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to the Friends of Wilmington Memorial Library.
Barbara Alevras is the volunteer facilitator for the writing groups program. A self-proclaimed “writing nerd,” she has had an interest in writing her whole life. She studied it at the graduate level in college.
“Professor Tom Williams at UNH was my mentor,” she said as she explains her background and passion. “But as I became busy, it went on the back burner.”
Then in 2015, she spoke with Charlotte Wood, Assistant Library Director, about writing groups, and Wood encouraged her to start one. She did in March of that year.
The program evolved, and there are now three different groups. The original group is the Fiction Critique Group which focuses on basic writing techniques. The second group is Creative Writing Skills which focuses on the entire writing process.
“We don’t read submissions in there,” Alevras explained. “We cover the craft itself to include things like editing, publishing, and marketing.”
The third group is a Poetry Circle. Alevras reported there are 20-22 participants now, but as many as 50 have been in the program.
“Some have gone on to publish,” she said.
According to Alevras if you have a publisher, they take care of much of the work after the actual writing. But to self-publish, the authors take on that burden themselves. That is why so much of the learning process for the anthology was focused on the tasks beyond developing content.
“The group learned what it is like to work with a professional editor,” Alevras explained. “And how to format a book, how much it costs, and how to price and market it.”
The finished project represents a rewarding accomplishment for all of them.
Registration for the book launch is required. Additional information and registration is available at www.wilmlibrary.org or by phone at 978-658-2967.