Once upon a time four writers had a dream. They made their dream come true.

I’ve tried to write this column a dozen times in the last month. I’m having trouble because I’m deeply moved by the subject. How to be honest. How to convey what I’m feeling. How to let go and move on. No matter how many different ways I begin, I end up in the same place, so please bear with me.

Once upon a time there were four women who loved to write and tell stories so much they formed a critique group that met regularly for years. Once a week they gathered to pour over their stories, offering suggestions and comments, and most of all encouragement. If a writer was entering a contest, she’d challenge the others, “You should enter too.”

Once a year these writers scheduled a writers’ retreat, taking a weekend to write, explore and laugh. One year they tramped around the Idaho ghost town of Silver City. Another year they explored Idaho City and its cemetery. Rocky Bar. The Hagerman valley. They attended bookfests and conferences and cheered each other on.

Eventually the writers organized what they called the Other Bunch Press. They held workshops; they published a book.

Life happens and things change. Jennifer Sandmann moved to Washington and Dixie Thomas Reale is writing stories from the clouds, or maybe the ocean where she loved to “swim” with the whales. Patricia Santos Marcantonio and I remain here in southern Idaho writing our fingers to stubs and loving every minute of it.

If you’ve been following us on Facebook you know that things are changing here at Other Bunch Press. We’ve changed our name as well as our website. What hasn’t changed is our passion for telling stories and sharing our love of writing with others. Our motto, “Everyone has a story, what’s yours?” remains the same. Our passion for bringing writers together is constant.

Pat and I are carrying on, happy to announce the formation of our new partnership, River St. Press. We’re releasing a middle grade book this spring called Billie Neville Takes a Leap. Please watch for it, it’s the story of a little girl who has a dream to be a daredevil like Evel Knievel. We’re also working on the third book of our Snake River Plain series, an anthology of family recipes, which we plan to release in early 2015. We will continue to hold workshops and bring writers together. We will continue to tell our stories.

We are grateful for your support and continued interest. Please come with us as begin our new adventure as River St. Press.com.

-Bonnie Dodge

 

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One response to “Once upon a time four writers had a dream. They made their dream come true.

  1. I am so touched by your story. Thank you for sharing it! Last year I finally gathered my courage and attended a critique group. It has changed my life in every way possible. I met my boyfriend there, have become close friends with many of the writers, and it is one of the things I look forward to most each month. I hope to stay in touch with them as long as you have with your writing friends. I will definitely keep an eye out for your book and share it with my group!

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