The Write Group Meets in Atascadero Every 1st and 3rd Thursday

ATASCADERO—In 2013, some creatives got together and created The Write Group. Though they had to take a break due to COVID, the group’s playwrights, poets, novelists, and screenwriters started gathering together again in July of 2021.

The Write Group meets at the Cherent Ranch Theatre in Atascadero every first and third Thursday of the month to elevate each other’s writing. The theatre is owned by current member, Brent Keast. 

“The theater’s been around for about eight to 10 years. We do straight plays, small plays (which we call parlor theater), and then we do radio plays as if we are in a radio studio. The audience is treated like an audience in a radio play,” said Keast, who is a graduate of USC’s film school and has 23 screenplays under his belt.

Getting through this together, Atascadero

The group’s main goal is to get their member’s words out into the public. Whether that’s in the form of theater workshops, published novels, poetry slam nights, or film screenings, the main objective is to have an audience for the member’s works. 

“I am so fortunate to have found this group because these guys are experienced, they know what they’re talking about, and their recommendations and the critiquing that they do is exceptional. I’ve gotten a lot of fantastic feedback. It’s great to have a sounding board. They’re more than a sounding board; these guys really care about the projects,” said Mark Landon, who’s working on a novel that’s steeped in his Judaic roots.

The group critiques its member’s work at every meeting. The work is sent out ahead of time, and then each member has five minutes to give their constructive feedback while the writer takes down notes. The writer is not allowed to say anything in response. 

“Over time, I was thinking, ‘do these guys really know what they’re saying?’ I realize that they’re all critical about stuff. So I paid the money, I paid $700 to get my book looked at by a professional. When I got the comments, I had to make a presentation to everybody because there were very few, if any, comments from the professional that didn’t match up exactly with their comments. I could have saved my money if I just would have listened to them,” said administrator, Jeff Davis.

Novels, plays, screenplays, short stories, and poetry collections have all come out of The Write Group since its inception. 

“This group has really opened me up to all kinds of different ways of writing,” said member, Ted Garrison.

The Write Group is looking for recruits. They’re excited to grow the talent already in the room and add new storytellers and wordsmiths into the mix.

“I’m really not writing anything. As I said earlier, they let me hang out, and I really haven’t figured out why,” said the group’s oldest member, Bill Jackson. “I enjoy the group, and I’m learning a lot, and I hope that that continues.” 

If you’d like more information or are interested in joining The Write Group, email administrator Jeff Davis at jeffisretired@yahoo.com.