Writers at the Table: The Anthology

It’s always a thrill (and a relief) to see a writing project come to completion. For the last year and a half, I’ve led a creative writing class once a month with a group of Senior Citizens. They bring wonderful stories to the table, two of which you can read here: Old Hat by Toshio Ninomiya and My Mother by Ted Johnson.

IMG_1081We talked of publishing a small anthology of their work, so, after several months of compiling and editing essays and stories written by hand or on typewriters, their words are now in print in a lovely little book.

During this process, I learned that 1) their stories do not grow old, no matter how many times I read them, and 2) the absence of technology makes pushing this kind of a project forward a bit more challenging.

The majority of my contact with the writers, including edits and reminders of due dates, happened through snail mail, as only one contributor dabbles in email. I love sending and receiving hand-written letters, always, but I’ve grown accustomed to working with other writers and editors online. In quick exchange. Incorporating the extra time to relay information via mail trucks and foot traffic made me appreciate how publishing worked back in the early days, and made the end result all the more sweet.

This Saturday, November 16th, at 2pm, the writers will give an official reading at Harwood Place in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. If you come, you’ll hear essays and short fiction–tales of community and relationship and even fashion–by Richard Borchers, Ted Johnson, Valerie Reynolds, Clyde Rusk, and Betty Sydow. There’ll be coffee and cookies and smiling faces. And, beautiful blue books.



About Christi

Christi Craig is a native Texan living in Wisconsin, working by day as a sign language interpreter and moonlighting as a writer, teacher, and editor. Her stories and essays have appeared online and in print, and she received an Honorable Mention in Glimmer Train's Family Matters Contest, 2010. You can send comments or questions via her contact page.
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7 Responses to Writers at the Table: The Anthology

  1. Alexandra says:

    I love that you’ve done this. Captured these stories, and giving these seniors such a source of pride and accomplishment in these years of their life. This is wonderful and a tantamount task. I will try hard to be there. Congratulations, I am really touched by this labor of love.

  2. Christi Christi says:

    Thank you, Alexandra. I took this job as instructor for the class on a whim, not realizing how much I would gain from the experience (and isn’t that often how life works?). It would be lovely to see you at the reading if you can make it.

  3. Beth Hoffman says:

    Oh my gosh, Christi … this is so wonderful. I got a bit weepy while reading.

    What a thrilling night it will be for everyone involved. Bless you for all that you’ve done. I sure wish I lived closer as I would LOVE to be there, but it would be one heck of a drive from Kentucky. I’ll be eagerly waiting for photos!

  4. This is a wonderful project. I can imagine your students excitement and enjoyment of the whole process. I would love a copy of the anthology. Are there plans for it to be available online? If not I can order it and have it mailed my son’s school. I live in Mexico where snail mail pales next to our maybe yes, maybe no the mail will arrive. I am starting a creative writing mentorship in the new year for young ESL teens. Your accomplishment helps inspire me.
    Christine Wenzel recently posted..“It’s the author’s job to hold the heart of the story in her hand, but to be willing to let the words slip through her fingers.” Jody HedlundMy Profile

    • Christi Christi says:

      I printed a very small run, but I have a few left. I’m happy to hold one for you. Email me at writeunderpressure(at)gmail(dot)com, and we’ll work through the details. They’re a very inexpensive $4, and I’d love to let the writers know their stories are traveling all the way to Mexico! Sounds like you have a cool project in the works as well.

      Thanks so much!

  5. Pingback: Writers at the Table: The Big Event | Christi Craig

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