A writers group in St. John's has just come out with a new collection of short stories. 'Racket - New Writing In Newfoundland' has been published by Breakwater Books.
The book is a collaboration of stories from ten writers who call themselves The Port Authority. The idea to put all the stories into one book came from writer Lisa Moore, who also edited the collection.
"This group is some of the most exciting voices writing on the island," said Moore in the forward of the book.
The group met in 2012 during one of Lisa Moore's writing classes and continued to meet and discuss the material they were working on.
Writer Morgan Murray has admired Moore for a long time. He said being part of Moore's class and this writing group has been a learning experience.
"It's fantastic because you bring in two or three pages worth of writing and you'll spend two hours drilling down into it," Murray told CBC's Weekend Arts Magazine. "It's a lot of fun but you also sort of unpack what makes writing good and what makes writing powerful."
Began as 'little nuggets'
Writer Sharon Bala also has a story featured in the book. She agreed with Murray that being part of the group has been important for their development as writers.
"These stories began as just little nuggets," said Bala. "My story, everyone had a hand of ripping it apart and I think that's the benefit of being in a writing class and then continuing to meet in a writing group."
Murray and Bala both said Moore encourages creative writing and that it's not a skill you are born with, it's something you can learn.
"A creative writing class with Lisa isn't all just learn how to write like Lisa," said Murray. "You learn to find your own voice and you really develop."
"Also a good reason to take a class is it forces you to write," said Bala. "Sometimes it is the night before a class and you think, 'Well I got to write something' and then something amazing comes out."
Bala recommends reading the book from the first story to the last. She said Moore carefully put them together so one story leads to the next.
Murray said seeing the evolution in the group's writing from the first day of class to now has been exciting for him. He hopes that this book won't be his last.
"A good essay can change your mind but a good novel can change your life," said Murray. "It's been quite a journey and this is hopefully the beginning."
The books launch party is set for sometime in November.