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Leaving a legacy

PETERBOROUGH: Writers’ group seeks endowment donations

For the past 30 years, the Monadnock Writers Group has focused on providing encouragement, fellowship, speaking opportunities, networking ideas and resources for area writers. This year, the 60-member non-profit organization is celebrating that history by planning for the future.

“We really want to leave a legacy,” said Tina Rapp, president of MWG, a writer and Peterborough resident. The MWG hopes to leave a legacy by creating an endowment. The endowment would ensure programs like the Monthly Speaker Series continue and remain free of charge to the public for years to come, Rapp said.

The MWG Speaker Series is held on the third Saturday of every month, from September through June, at the Peterborough Town Library. Speakers address issues on a variety of topics from fiction, poetry and journalism, to screenwriting, blogging and self-publishing. Past speakers have included Dayton Duncan, Sy Montgomery, Jodi Picoult and Robert Putnam. On average, 25-35 people from across the Monadnock region attend.

But in order to continue to bring in high quality speakers and provide free resources for the community, the group needs to raise at least $10,000 – the minimum amount required to have the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation administer the endowment. Having the Charitable Foundation administer the funds, “puts the experts in charge of the money, and still gives us freedom to select the speakers,” said Rodger Martin, MWG board member and poet.

So far, the MWG has raised approximately $8,100.

This month an anonymous donor came forward and offered the group a dollar-for-dollar fund match of up to $500 on any funds that come before Feb. 28.

“This is a vital group,” said Chet deNorid, poet, professor and most recent speaker in the Monadnock Writers Speakers Series. The group provides “conversation and dialog, a place for encouragement and a place to share,” he said.

Mimi F. Bull, MWG member and Peterborough resident couldn’t agree more. She said the speaker series is stimulating and helps her feel less alone as a writer. “You get to learn about the lives of other writers how they approach what they are doing and how they stick with it,” she said.

In addition to the speaker series, the Monadnock Writers Group hosts monthly “Writers Night Out” networking opportunities on the first Monday of each month at 7 p.m. at Brady’s American Grill in Peterborough.

The MWG also publishes a bi-annual online literary journal called Smoky Quartz, a monthly newsletter, and has created and published six print anthologies. The group works hard to partner with the community, said Rapp. In the past, the MWG has participated in readings at The Toadstool Bookshop and Mariposa Museum and World Culture Center, sponsored a poetry exhibit at the Monadnock Center for History and Culture. The Monadnock Writers Group played an integral role in developing the Poetry Out Loud program in the Monadnock region as judges for both the Keene Public Library Open and Conval High School competitions.

“We just have an extraordinary group of members and a board that is committed to providing opportunities for writers to read, publish and share their work. It’s a community that makes you feel like you can do this – you’re not alone,” said Rapp.

The Monadnock Writers Group has 55-60 members.

For more information, visit www.monadnockwriters.org or email monadnockwriters@gmail.com.

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