Sunday, March 4, 2012

My friend Erma, er, I mean Donna

Last spring I wrote about the "community" among writers. Many generous souls are crucial in helping other writers by sharing their experiences and offering guidance and encouragement. I witnessed that community first hand last week when my friend Donna Volkenannt won first place in the Erma Bombeck Writing Contest for her essay titled “Honey, Can I Borrow Your Garter Belt?”. Congratulations, Donna, that is a big deal! Everyone who knows her is happy for her. She works hard, and it shows.

Several writers had dinner with her the night she got the news. Every one of us was thrilled for her success, and happy to celebrate with her. Sometimes during our monthly dinners we share stories about the long road to publishing success, and the problems we encounter on that road. That’s when we offer up encouragement and empathy.

But that night we all shared the excitement of her good news, and celebrated her success together. Each one of us was able to feel some of the joy she felt, and enjoyed it right along with her.

One of the best things I can hope for my writing friends is to have a strong community of writers surrounding them. I noticed in her blog post announcing the win, Donna gave special mention to the people in her critique group who helped improve her essay . Thanks, Donna, for reminding us that no one does it alone.

Write soon,


  1. I agree wholeheartedly, Mary--about Donna as well as the need for a community of writers to bolster us.

    (And since Donna is always reluctant to toot her horn, the rest of us need to.)

  2. If it weren't for our community - our first audience - much of our writing would be in vain! Congrats to Donna!

  3. Donna deserves the award. Her story is funny. Yes, we writers are all in this together.

  4. Hi Mary,
    You are so sweet to mention me on your blog. As usual our IVV dinner was great last week. Thanks for sharing my exciting day with me.
    Here's to keeping strong connections with writers in our community.

  5. Nice post about Donna and the writing community.

  6. Thanks everyone for your comments.