Hello and welcome again to Five Question Friday. Each Friday we find someone doing something interesting in Tacoma and ask them five questions.
Today’s guest was technically my boss for the past couple of years. I worked as one of her editors at Creative Colloquy. When I decided to bring back Five Question Friday, Jackie was the first person I contacted. She’s not just a founder of Creative Colloquy, but also a good friend and an all around awesome person. And Creative Colloquy is one of my favorite things about Tacoma.
Creative Colloquy is a local literary group that has monthly readings every third Monday of the month. They also maintain a website and regularly publish paperback anthologies, the latest of which, volume 9, is coming out later this year.
1. How did Creative Colloquy deal with the pandemic?
We were initially hesitant but really leaned into virtual gatherings. The world shut down on the day that would have been our 6 year anniversary celebration. We chose to continue connecting via zoom because it felt as though, especially in the beginning days that people were hungry for connection. During the days of quarantine a break in seclusion was welcome. After a time we introduced workshops to our programming to amplify our offerings and curate opportunities to hone our craft and connect with like minded creatives in a time that many of us weren’t working and may have been afforded the luxury of time to spend with the written word since the world had shut down.We witnessed some valuable connections take place – even if the zoom applause was silent.
2. What’s the best part about doing in-person readings again?
The collective stillness in the air, a shared chuckle, an in person round of applause, those things are unmatched and cannot be replicated with virtual events.
3. Besides the website and monthly readings, what else is Creative Colloquy up to?
We’re in the midst of editing and accepting accompanying visual art pieces for our 9th print anthology due to launch this year. We’re also hosting regular writers workshops throughout the year for writers of all genres and experience levels AND hosting a semi regular writer’s social hours called Pens n’ Pies. The idea is to connect as writers and tour local pizza joints. We talk all things writing, life, publishing and more. In October we plan to gather for the Creative Colloquy Crawl, in person, proper crawl like for the first time in 2019. Like past years you can expect community collaborator curated readings, poetry, short stories, music, live art – a true choose your own adventure literary journey. And of course this summer we will be making our rounds with the CC Book Bike Pop Ups at local parks to distribute free books to the masses. This February we’ll be distributing another round of found art with our CC Message in a Bottle series. This time we were inspired by Tacoma Monkeyshines and used the Year of the Water Rabbit as a call for submissions prompt with stories centering around themes of peace, hope and longevity.
4. How can people help support Creative Colloquy?
CC is fiscally sponsored by Shunpike and functions as a non profit so tax deductible donations can be made from our website. We also have a Patreon page with fun membership perks. All funds help us keep events accessible, almost always free to the public, plus general admin fees, website hosting, publishing costs, etc. AND of course spreading the word! We are always accepting poetry, short stories, essays and novel excerpts for online publication which results in an invite to appear as a feature reader. Showing up to support our fellow writerly friends and neighbors is the very best support. Writing is a solitary action, making space for community and connection nourishes us in so many ways.
5. What’s next for Creative Colloquy?
We have some fun things in the works – aside from what we have on the calendar we are really looking forward to expanding our programming to showcase local writer’s more and more. From now to 2024 things we’re building towards include more gatherings centering around a dialogue, a podcast and a summer lit fest we’ve been day dreaming about for ages. We’re always exploring ways to support local storytellers so who knows how things will evolve.
Thank you to Jackie Fender (Casella) for participating in Five Question Friday. You can find Jackie on Twitter @jacksfender and Creative Colloquy is at https://creativecolloquy.com.
If you think you or someone you know might make a good participant for Five Question Friday let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
– Jack Cameron
TacomaStories is always free. If you’d like to support our work, you can donate at this link. Thank you.