A brief history of the Point Pleasant Writers Guild

By April Pyles - Contributing columnist

Was it Franklin D. Roosevelt who capsulized his cabinet meetings by saying they had covered this, that and the other thing, meaning, of course, a little of this, a little of that, and finally, the really important item on the agenda, the “thing” that had brought them together?

At recent meetings of the Point Pleasant Writers Guild, members covered such topics as their future — what they hope their future will hold or how they see the future unfolding—-and how computers have touched their lives — or not, as the case may be. The thing that really brings them together is their passion for writing, sharing ways and means of getting a book published and knowing that as members of the Guild, they can find support and encouragement in their quest. Not all write with publication in mind…some just like to write for the fun of it.

The Point Pleasant Writers Guild has its beginnings in a group started by Joan Ungerleider in September of 2004. The first two members to join were Twila White and Toni Isbell. In those early days, they called themselves the Wannabe Writers. Home base has been the Mason County Library located on Viand Street in Point Pleasant. Many thanks go to the librarians for providing the Guild with a meeting place.

Over the years, members have come and gone. Some are no longer with us due to having relocated or passed on. However, there remains a core who has been faithful to their dreams, who continue to fill blank pages with their stories, songs, poems, plays, memoirs and essays year after year. Published authors within the Guild include Patrecia Gray, Robin Harbrecht, Marilyn Clarke, William Jeffers, Woody Moore, Sue Underwood, Raine Fielder, Letha Jones, and Feryle Lawrence. Last year we were awaiting two books by Bob Watterson, but sadly, he passed away before he could finish them. Former members who succeeded in getting their works published include Carole Brown, Vivian Endicott, Archie Henry, Janet Hurlow, Greg Kay, and Joan Ungerleider. More will be written about our current Guild authors and their books next time.

While under Joan Ungerleider’s leadership, the Wannabe Writers, in 2006, published its first book, “Appalachian Heart.” Contributors included the following members: Greg Kay, Vivian Endicott, Toni Isbell, Nick Griffin, Twila White, Ilse Burris, Vashti Goracke, Betty Farmer, Archie Henry, Mary Ellen Gerlach-Wischner, Patrecia Gray, S.H. Benson, Friend S. Furbee, Paula Blevins, Betty Rimmey, Joan Ungerleider, Patty English, Ryan Dickie, and Carole Brown. Books published by the Guild since then include: “Short Scary Stories”, “The Sampler”, “Recipes and Remembrances”, and “Tales from the Attic.”

Guest Speakers over the years have included Dr. Mel Simon, Mea Enrico, Mary Lee Powell-Pickard, William Winebrenner, Alice Click, Nellie Ruby Taylor, Dolly Withrow, Michael Connick, Sandy Tritt, Candace Bonecutter, Paula Blevins, Patrick Grace, Irene Brand, Bob Withers, and others.

Attending the last two meetings were Phil Heck, Sue Underwood, Marilyn Clarke, Carol Newberry, Kris Moore, Will Jeffers, Raine Fielder, and April Pyles. Anyone interested in writing is welcome to attend our meetings at the Mason County Library from noon to 2 p.m. on the first and third Wednesdays of the month except when noted. On November 17, the Guild will have a luncheon meeting at a local restaurant in celebration of the upcoming holidays. Our next assignment is to write a brief piece pertaining to the Holiday Season. Have a Happy Thanksgiving.

By April Pyles

Contributing columnist