One of the wonderful things about living in Missouri is getting to experience the seasons changing and as summer slips into autumn, community celebrations and festivals signal yet another harvest season has begun. Festivals are great opportunities to reunite with friends you haven't seen since last year's celebration, but they can also provide some wonderful little treasures to take home.
I found such a treasure a few weeks ago when I met MWG member Ann Hazelwood signing her books in front of Main Street Books in historic St. Charles during the annual Festival of the Little Hills. You see, Ann has published several books about Missouri topics, including 100 Things to Do In and Around St. Charles, 100 Best Kept Secrets of Missouri, 100 Unique Eateries of Missouri, and 100 Festive Findsof Missouri, as well as numerous books about quilting, since she is a certified quilt appraiser and quiilt collector. In 2004, she gathered a group of women together in her home with plans to form a writing group "just for the sake of writing," and, since she had been researching the best way to go about organizing such a group, Ann took the advice she had found in a book called Writing Alone and "Wee Writers" was born.
The writing interests of the group are as diverse as the members themselves. Mary DuBois is a former suburban newspaper stringer who currently writes for magazines and the St. Charles Visitors' Bureau. Hallye Bone is a quilter interested in writing. Noelle Miles is a companion animal veterinarian in Millstadt, Illinois who loves Cardinal baseball, classical music concerts and running---in addition to writing, of course. Jan Lewien has written for magazines and is the author of Black-Eyed Peas and Cornbread. And writer Lilah Contine emigrated to the United States from London, England after World War II. In addition to writing Dance of the Seals and Cat, Lilah has also been a member of the Missouri Chorale.
Throughout the past few years, Ann held meetings in her home, allowing the writers to work on projects and making sure everyone got their fair share of time. Sometimes they shared. Other times they offered guidance. All of the time they supported one another in whatever they were doing, either individually or as a group. When someone suggested the group put some of their work together into a book, they collectively took a look at pieces of writing they had shared since the beginning, and the result is The Red Thread, A Collection of Poetry, Stories and Essays.
Dedicated to Lilah Contine, the group's oldest member, the book is a delightful treasury of poetry and prose put together by these writers for the sole purpose of sharing it with family and friends. Much like its authors, the collection is diverse in its scope, somber in tone at times and gleeful at others, all carefully woven together with what the group refers to as "the thread that weaves our lives together and creates a unique tapestry." They call it their "Red Thread"---their individual and collective love for the writing craft.
Wee Writers will have a book signing at Main Street Books, 307 S. Main in St. Charles on October 30th from 3 to 5 p.m. The Red Thread is being sold only at Main Street Books and St. Joseph Health Center Gift Shops. Anyone interested in purchasing the books wholesale can contact Ann Hazelwood at firstname.lastname@example.org.