By Todd DeFeo
For Hampton resident Carol Buckler, writing has taught her a new skill.
"One of the things that I think has really helped me, and a lot of other people, you gain a lot of listening skills," said Buckler, founder and president of the Fayette Writers Guild. "...After you've done this a long time, you get to listening closely to what somebody has written, to what they're saying."
Buckler, who recently published her own children's book, was born in Griffin and had been running similar writing groups in Louisville, Ky., for about 12 years. Three years ago, she started a group in the Southern Crescent, which pulls members from several counties, including Clayton and Henry.
Edna Chennault, whose father-in-law was Gen. Claire Chennault, a member of the Flying Tigers during World War II, doesn't claim to be a writer. But she is a member of the Fayette Writers Guild and one day wants to write about her family.
"It's very educational; it's nice to be with people," she said of the group
Attendance at meetings fluctuates between 15 and 30, depending on the "topic being addressed or the guest speaker," Lunsford said. The group has about 40 members and 35 of them recently contributed to the publishing of "Go With Us," the group's first book.
"The idea behind the publication was to be a springboard into being published for authors," said Carol Lunsford, in charge of publicity for the Fayette Writers Guild. "Often times when trying to become established as an author one is asked, 'Have you been published before?' This publication will help fledgling authors in that respect. This book is a compilation of poetry and prose.
"Each author was allotted five pages of print," Lunsford added. "Within those pages either collections of poetry or short stories - sometimes essays were placed. Illustrations affecting the telling of stories were included when appropriate."
The group is planning to record the book for the Library of the Blind, Buckler said. "Hence the sale of the books; we have to pay for the sound studio somehow," Lunsford said.
But the group's publishing ambitions don't end there.
"As this is our first publication, it is a trial run of sorts," Lunsford said. "Ideally we hope to have the book continue throughout the years with the addition of the year to the title of the book, such as 'Go With Us' 2005 edition. We are considering publishing an anthology of children's stories - several members have children's stories in print at this time - (and) a book of poetry solely from works of members. The list is endless. Of course, in the best of worlds we would love to have someone somewhere purchase our writings and not have to self publish anymore."