Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Two Countries - Two Societies - Two Writers

Photo: Sylvia Kent book signing event at Waterstone's Book Shop.

I have the privilege of belonging to two of the oldest writing societies in the world. The Society of Women Writers and Journalists in London (1894) and The Denver Woman’s Press Club (1898) here in the United States. Both have so much to offer a writer that it is difficult to know where to begin. Suffice it to say, both societies have enjoyed a robust and interesting lifespan of 110+ years, providing continuous guidance, advice and support to their members, as well as contributing to the community as a whole.

Just recently, Sylvia Kent wrote a book entitled: The Woman Writer - The History of the Society of Woman Writers and Journalist (ISBN-10 9780752451596.) The book has been very well received since its launch last month with articles in The Times, the International Writing Magazine, and the Journal of the Chartered Institute of Journalists, among others. Within the pages of her book Kent has mentioned the strong connection between the two countries including American playwright, Pearl Craigie who was the first President of the Society of Women Writers and Journalists and that audacious young journalist Elizabeth L Banks who took London by storm in 1902 with her audacious reportage. Also included in the book is a wonderful photograph of First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt who stopped by to visit women journalist in 1959.

Kent is a columnist working for Newsquest and a freelance writer. She is Archivist/Press Officer for the SWWJ, Vice-President of Brentwood Writers’ Circle and a Patron of the Essex Book Festival 2009/10. This is Kent's 7th book published whilst supporting other writers, particularly in the field of local history. She is a Trustee at the Cater Museum, Billericay, Essex, England.

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