Visiting Mom’s Writing Group

Post by Gail Martin’s daughter, Virginia.

Some years ago, I accompanied my mother to her writer’s group. She attended Prairie Prose and Poetry regularly. The time that I went with her, they were meeting in the old train depot in El Dorado.
They started off the meeting going around the table with each person telling about their recent successes. After several told of articles they’d recently published in magazines and what the pay was, then it was my turn. I introduced myself and told them I’d just made $300,000 with my writing submission.
2008-08-17 gail and ks photos 417

They all looked amazed, but then I added the punch line: “I wrote a grant application for my library and it was funded for $300,000.” No, it wasn’t money in my pocket but it was money earned with my writing for the library where I was the library director. It enabled the library to get computers and lots of high-tech networking equipment that we needed.

Those years of writing grants for the library taught me the power of persuasive writing. Making my application as clear and complete as possible while tugging at the heartstrings of the grant reviewers would get funding for my library’s special projects.

It takes a sophisticated network to support a large number of public computers. My library was in a very low-income area along the border to Mexico. Many students were dependent on the public library for computer access as they could not afford the equipment or the Internet fees at home. So the demographics favored my grants being funded, but I like to think my pithy descriptions and touching vignettes carried the day.
Have you used your writing to help an organization or your workplace?
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