By ROBERT PIERCE
• Daily Leader
Sherrilyn Polf of Tyrone, Okla., and Amanda Schwab of Liberal met at a recent book signing in Anthony, neither knowing that the other lived just 10 miles apart, and now, the two are wanting to start a writers group in Liberal.
The two are both published authors, and Polf said she had many people at her church, Fellowship Baptist, who had approached her with questions, she said Schwab likewise had inquiries at her church, Church For All Nations.
The group’s first meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 16 at Memorial Library in Liberal. Polf said the aim of the group is to help aspiring authors throughout the area.
“Just because we’re published doesn’t mean we’re not there to help other people,” she said.
Polf said officials with the library are excited to have the group meet there.
“In fact, some of their people are interested,” she said. “We’ll have people come in as guest speakers about every two months. We plan on having a speaker speak for a half an hour, and we can have a question and answer time.”
Polf said the group is not a club as some may think.
“It’s going to be a writing group where they can come,” she said. “It’ll just be a hands-on writing program.”
Polf said the meetings will be very informal.
“They can bring a covered drink and sandwich,” she said. “We have to be out of there at 7:30 because they close at 8. That will give us a half an hour for somebody that wants to do some extra talking.”
Polf said authors from all fields are invited to come to the meetings.
“I write historical fiction, and I write poetry,” she said. “(Schwab) writes self-help books. Another lady that’s coming writes historical fiction from the 1800s. Mine’s during World War II. There may be people that come in that want to write memoirs, or they may want to write an autobiography.”
During the Sept. 16 meeting, registration sheets will be available in order to see what group participants are interested in.
“It will give us kind of an idea where to go, too,” Polf said.
She said people from other communities are interested in the group as well, and the group is open to not only Liberal residents, but the area communities, and those towns are being contacted.
“I was in Meade the first Saturday of the month,” she said. “There are ladies over there coming already. I went to Ulysses. They’re interested. Hugoton is interested. Saturday, I’ll be taking flyers to Dodge City.”
After finding out what the initial needs of the group are, Polf said workshops can be set up.
“We might even be able to get the guy who’s teaching the creative writing class at the college to come in and bring some stuff,” she said. “The first meeting is to basically get to know everybody and what their needs are. There are places on the Internet where they can contact and get a lot of help, too. We can offer that, too.”
Meetings will be on the third Thursday of each month, but there will not be a meeting in December. Polf said the group is a non-profit organization, and there is no fee to join.
She said she has two aspiring writers at Fellowship Baptist and two in Tyrone who have been asking her questions.
“They’re all coming,” she said.
Polf said aspiring writers may bring drafts, thoughts, ideas or things they have questions about to the Sept. 16 meeting.
“We will look at it and share with them, give them ideas,” she said. “We want to offer help.”
Polf said that first meeting will give group leaders an idea of where to go from there.
“We would like to help anybody and be able to meet other people in the same area they can work with,” she said. “It does make a big difference to have somebody to bounce things off of.”
Schwab added the group is for all levels of writing.
“From the person who has never written – up to people who are published,” she said.
Polf gave some advice to writers, saying it is important to include a part of themselves in their writing.
“A book will not go, and it will not sell if self is not in there,” she said. “You’re going to have that question come up of ‘How do I do that? How do you know the fine line of when to quit putting self in there?’ That’s what we’re going to attempt to offer.”
Schwab said those wanting to join need to bring their own writing utensils to the September meeting.
“They need to bring their own paper and pencils or laptop computers,” she said.
Polf said although people are welcome to bring laptops, they are not necessary to join the group.
“What we have will be handouts,” she said. “You can take notes. They may use a tape (recorder). They can tape it.”