With all the authority of their 24 years together, three members of an extraordinary writers’ group offer practical and inspirational advice to writers, yes — but more, with humor and poignancy and honesty and loving, sometimes painful, detail, they reveal the ways their life experiences, their writing, and their friendship entwine as they give each other sustenance. That is the brave lesson and deep joy of this book, Telling Tales and Sharing Secrets.
Meg Files, Author of Writing What You Know
Reading Telling Tales and Sharing Secrets was a refreshing journey back to those days of stretching new wings, and I recognized every detail the authors shared of their own writing experiences. The writing here is smooth and polished, sometimes complex and often lyrical. The prompted vignettes are so often poignant and carry that well-developed sense of urgency that should always undergird good storytelling. Congratulations on this accomplishment, and congrats as well on getting this done, making the effort, spending the gifts. The only negative comment I have is that I wanted more of everything.
Nancy Turner – Author of These Is My Words (a trilogy), Light Changes Everything
Sheila Bender, Author of Writing Personal Essays: Shaping and Sharing Your Life Experience, A New Theology: Turning to Poetry in a Time of Grief and Since Then: Poems and Short Prose.
What happens when committed women write together and respond to one another’s writing gently and with insight for over two decades? A lot! Of writing, of tenderness, of life experience, of craft learning, of adventures and personal growth. Telling Tales and Sharing Secrets is a collaborative story shaped from the contributions of three women about their decades in a writing group. Read this book and you will be treated not only to how to craft a meaningful writing group but to the writing they produced from prompts they also share in this book. And there’s more: member comments on the writing shared are included, helping the book’s readers understand how making an impact through writing is a fortifier for both the reader and the writer. This book is the story of how keeping on writing among a tribe of worthy writers is life-changing, writing-enhancing, and most of all joy-filled because of the commitment and intimacy it fosters. As co-author Sally Showalter writes, “Our friendship is built on a love of stories in all their various shapes, whether they are fiction, non-fiction, political commentary, or memoir.” Reading their book, I am honored to experience what these three women writers’ friendship produced.
In the charming town of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, I taught a fiction writing workshop attended by Diana Kinared and Sally Showalter. Their contributions to the workshop were generous, creative, and heartfelt. Now, in this delightful collaboration, they describe their many remarkable years together as writing colleagues and good friends who have founded a long-lasting, productive, and ever-evolving writing group. Telling Tales and Sharing Secrets is an inspiring book containing tried-and-true writing prompts, examples of their own writing, and detailed and often hard-earned guidelines for readers interested in forming their own writing groups.
Janice Eidus, Author of The War of the Rosens and The Last Jewish Virgin
Rita Maria Magdaleno Author of Marlene Dietrich, Rita Hayworth & My Mother. University of Arizona Press
Generous… Honest writing-from-the-heart
“The beauty of a writers’ group is that you find a safe place to articulate your views… You just have to write.” – Prologue, Telling Tales and Sharing Secrets.
Telling Tales and Sharing Secrets is a perfect companion for your own writer’s journey. A thoughtful, constructive dialogue between the authors. And you, as reader, are invited to the writing table.
A creative journey of three women who write together– poetry, story & non-fiction. It’s the story of three women becoming friends and the realization that “each woman is the heroine of her own story.” – “Let’s Get Acquainted”
Hands-on ways to: “Write outside one’s comfort zone… to shape poetry from “a list of random words plucked out of a book.” Writing prompts will inspire your creativity.
What would happen if you pulled back the curtain on a quarter-century bond between three women whose first love is writing? In Telling Tales and Sharing Secrets, Jackie Collins, Diana Kinared, and Sally Showalter provide a treasure trove for writers at any stage. This unique collection is at once a how-to guide for conducting a successful writers’ workshop; a meticulously organized catalogue of writing prompts, and an exquisite array of stories and essays from each. Yes, the works within these pages are now polished gemstones to be admired—no less so the generosity of spirit this trio of writers has shared with one another and, now, with any writer fortunate enough to peek behind the curtain.
Dina Greenberg, Author of Nermina’s Chance