(08/14/2001)
By Bob Weaver

The annual Calhoun Writer's Guild retreat was held this past weekend along the banks of the Middle Fork River, the border of Upshur and Randolph Counties. The group had exercises in writing about moments of clarity, turning points, life changing events, or just selecting random words from a dictionary.

The campfire setting along the beautiful river, owned by Kitty and Jeannie Wilson of Grantsville, has been the site for writer's retreats for several years.

Along the Middle Fork at dusk

The three day event was interrupted by several delicious meals, a wiener roast and a few rain showers.

Writing around the campfire

Former GSC english professor Barbara Tedford, now enjoying "glorious retirement" in Elkins, is still a prolific writer, which includes editing and publishing newsletters

Calhoun's most renown writer Jeannie Wilson is working on a novel "The Crow Flies Backward." Wilson has written and published many short stories and poems, some of which she has received special recognition.

Sarah Hotchkiss (L) of Beech is an avid writer who contributes to the tone of the writer's group, more recently spending time creating fiber and fabric artwork. Cynthia Wildfire (R), participated in the retreat. She is the daughter of Mary Wildfire , the counties best known environmental activist, shares creative stories she has written, but many of her comment and opinion pieces have been published by newspapers and magazines around the country. Mary, besides concerns about mountain top removal and how it affects the lives of southern West Virginia residents, traveled to Seattle to protest WTO globalization, in this case joined by organized labor.

Wheeling resident and West Virginia traveler, Jim Mullooly, who has been researching and portraying the "Padre of the Mountains" Father Thomas Quirk, is planning on writing a book about the priest who was a Civil War soldier and resident of Huntington, but spent most of his life on a horse ministering to his scattered parishioners in Lewis, Braxton and other counties in the late 19th and early 20th century.

Faye Thompson (L) of Ripley is the new president of the West Virginia writers group. While she writes romance stories for "Woman's World" and other magazines, she remains a prolific writer on other subjects. Gilmer County resident (R) Harriett Whipkey, the former editor of Mountain Views, has edited other publications and continues to write Gilmer County stories.


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