Founded in February 2010, the Thursdays Editing Collective is a coalition of trained writers and editors who provide support to DTES writers in the Thursdays Writing Collective. Each Thursday we’re in session the editors are available to sit one-on-one with writers in twenty minute sessions. Writers are asked to place their writing in a folder on the table during class with a sheet specifying what kind of feedback they would like: copyediting for grammar and typos, substantive editing for flow and structure of the piece as a whole, or what we call, “witnessing.” Sometimes this is the most powerful response of all. We encourage writers to work with a variety of editors to expose them to different points of view and to bring pieces back after furthering them on their own.
Kevin Spenst, one of the first to volunteer with us, finished his MFA in Creative Writing at UBC while working with the Editing Collective. He has this to say about his experience:
Over the past year and a half, I’ve helped edit poetry and prose from
various members of the Thursdays Writing Collective. There have been
times when my calendar is ready to fall off the wall under the weight
of ink from penned in to-dos through the month and I think, do I
really want to add volunteer work to my schedule? but when I arrive
and sit down across from someone with an unassuming passion for
expression, I realize that this is a refuge for respect for the
literary arts. Suddenly, an hour opens into a conversation about
character, plot or some other timeless device and I’ve also gotten to
know John or James or Ann a little better. This has certainly been
one of the most rewarding experiences of my life and I look forward
to future Thursdays.
Kevin Spenst and Joan Flood lead a series of editing workshops called Thursdays Revised, that take place some Saturdays at Carnegie. Please check the schedule for dates.
Joan Flood was born in Ireland and lived briefly in France and England before settling in Canada. Her working life includes stints as a gas jockey, an art teacher, a short order cook, administrator, dance company manager, and storytelling festival producer. She is a graduate of The Writer’s Studio at Simon Fraser University, under the guidance of Wayde Compton and the Creative Non-fiction Group, though these days she prefers to write fiction. Her writing has appeared in anthologies in Canada, the US and Australia.
Kevin Spenst’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Prairie Fire, Contemporary Verse 2, Rhubarb Magazine, Capilano Review, Dandelion, Filling Station, Poetry is Dead, The Maynard, The Enpipe Line, V6A and Ditch Poetry. At the beginning of 2011, his manuscript, The Gang’s All Down by the Abecedarium, was shortlisted for the Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry. Near the end of 2011, he won the Lush Triumphant Award for Poetry for a suite of poems from another manuscript, Ignite.