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A View From the Third Floor

More Than a Workshop, Aubrey Slaterpryce’s Village Writers Guild Nurtures Art

Hello, hello People of PPL,

It is with great pleasure that we get to introduce our newest PPL staff member, Aubrey Slaterpryce. Aubrey has all the fervor one could want in the library and brings a remarkable talent and enthusiasm for writing and adding to the programming we have here. 

Just last week we introduced our Village Writers Guild at the Potsdam Public Library, which is created and facilitated by Aubrey and here we thought it important to give you a bit more information about the Guild and the person who is really making it all possible. 

Aubrey Slaterpryce

Aubrey graduated from SUNY Potsdam in Fall 2021 with a BFA in Creative Writing, and during that time at SUNY Potsdam, they participated in, then led, SUNY Potsdam’s Writers’ Cafe for three years 

“Writers’ Cafe was a writing club based at SUNY Potsdam,” Aubrey said. “I joined as a freshman at the beginning of my spring semester. I met some phenomenal people through that group. It helped push me to continue writing, and showed me that writing was something people could actually commit to and sustain throughout their lives.”

It also showed Aubrey the importance of having a writing community, a place to see one’s writing through the eyes of the other.

“I became president of the club during my junior year, but with Covid-19, attendance to meetings was down,” Aubrey said. “Very few people came, and the school did little to help enable the success of it. They were busy with plenty of other things, so I understand. Whereas the Potsdam Public Library, who has embraced the idea fully, has given me more support than I ever expected.”

Aubrey was inspired to start the Village Writers Guild because humans (and artists) exist in relation to one another, in the context of community. 

“It is so important and beneficial to share and voice work, and hear others’ work, while we are still writing it,” Aubrey said. “It helps make us view our own work with an outsider’s lens, to consider how the audience will react.”

Aubrey started writing as a child and said the endless stories that filled their head, resulted in them continuing to exercise their imagination well up until high school. 

“For me, writing is a way to process anything and everything. If I put it down on the paper then it frees up room in my head. I owe a lot of my own self-found peace to writing. I am possessed by words, and find myself writing about the intersection of humans, nature, and imagination a lot. I am inspired by mythology and storytelling, by language and the philosophy of it, and by the various ways to construct a story,” Aubrey said. “My favorite author is N. K. Jemisin with her Broken Earth series. Other authors I love include Thomas Pynchon and his The Crying of Lot 49, and Tara Westover’s Educated. A goal of mine this year is to read more than seventy books; I’ve already read sixteen since January 1st.”

A workshop group encourages people to write more because they have the opportunity and the encouragement to share it with others, Aubrey said, recognizing that sharing is difficult, due to the fear of negative feedback. But Aubrey said that The Village Writers Guild makes useful and supportive feedback one of its top priorities.

“We will help the writer get from where they are with a piece of work to where they want to be with it,” Aubrey said. “To do this, we employ our other top priority; getting writers to continue writing, despite everything else. I believe quantity generates quality, creation enables design. Prolificacy begets precision.”

The first meeting of the Village Writers Guild will be held on Thursday, March 3rd, from 4:00 to 6:00 pm, and each Sunday and Thursday after that. The Guild will be broken up into two groups, Group A will meet on Sundays in the library’s main reading room, and Group B will meet Thursday in the classroom on the mezzanine. Both groups will meet between the hours of 4 and 6 p.m.

There are no restrictions for attending either group, but because the Guild is rooted in building a writer’s community, participants are encouraged to continue attending the same group each week to help build and nurture a community with your fellow writers. Attendance is not mandatory. 

“As for what I’m looking forward to coming out of the group, there’s a lot.” Aubrey concluded. “One of the things I’m hoping for is a public reading where members could share their polished work with an actual audience. Something else is bringing in guest authors and writers, to have themed meetings and events, and to share plenty of book recommendations. Above all, I want the Village Writers Guild to exist as a space for sharing art in a creative and nurturing manner. I want members to look forward to coming, sharing their work, providing feedback for others, and contributing to a group of artists passionate to create anything, everything.”

Interested in hearing more from the Village Writers Guild? Sign up for news and other information with the form below: https://forms.gle/rMHmiar3GERMEFmu9