I’m impressed by the generosity of some bloggers, who use their space to include – and publicize – other writers. High on the list is The Writer’s Drawer, the brainchild of writer– editor Beryl Belsky. Beryl, who lives just outside of Tel Aviv, came to Israel via a roundabout route, having been born in Dublin, grown up in Australia and living for several years in Japan and England. Her international background is reflected in her global blog.
We asked this dedicated woman about The Writer’s Drawer.
AH: TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT YOUR WRITING BACKGROUND.
BB: I’ve been an editor for the past 35 years, working mostly in academia. The writing bug hit me a little over two years ago when I realized that I could write as well, if not better, than some of the people whose work I was editing.
AH: WAS THAT THE START OF THE WRITER’S DRAWER?
BB: Actually I began by launching a blog about an area I’ve been interested in since I got my degree in Far Eastern studies in Australia. It’s called The Asia Collection (http://beryl-pieces-asia.blogspot.co.il/). Then I started another blog for tennis lovers, Faces of Tennis (http://beryl-pieces-tennisfaces.blogspot.co.il/).
AH: HOW DID YOU CONCEIVE THE IDEA OF THE WRITER’S DRAWER?
BB: After about a year of blogging, I felt the need to expand my horizons. I’ve always liked the idea of starting a website from scratch and writing was a field I felt comfortable in. But I’m also interested in other people’s writing. I knew that some people write only for their desk drawer, but I thought that with a little encouragement they might produce a piece of writing for other people to enjoy. I’m also aware of writers’ problems in getting published and becoming better known.
AH: YOU’RE CERTAINLY GENEROUS ABOUT PROMOTING YOUR WRITERS’ BOOKS.
BB: That’s not quite as altruistic as it seems. I do require a return, in the form of an original creative piece that hasn’t been published previously – either online or in print – to post in The Writer’s Drawer.
AH: DO YOU USE YOUR EDITING BACKGROUND WITH THE SUBMISSIONS?
BB: I feel that I can help some writers by offering to edit their work, especially non-native English writers.
AH: HOW MANY WRITERS HAVE BEEN INCLUDED? ARE THEY FROM VARIOUS COUNTRIES?
BB: So far, we’ve had over 100 writers from all parts of the world. My aim has been to make The Writer’s Drawer as multicultural as possible.
AH: MANY OF US HAVE DIFFICULTY FINDING A CATCHY TITLE FOR OUR BLOGS. HOW DID YOU THINK UP SOMETHING AS CLEVER AS THE WRITER’S DRAWER?
BB: I was thinking about how to design the site and the name just came to me.
AH: WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE FUTURE?
BB: I’ve been impressed by the high standard of some of the material that’s been submitted. So I got the idea of publishing an anthology of stories and poems selected from the website. I plan to start selecting material this September.
AH: ANYTHING YOU’D LIKE TO ADD?
BB: I’d like to thank you for giving me the opportunity of introducing your readers to The Writer’s Drawer, and for being one of the first to support me.
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NOTE: If you’d like to submit a piece for the anthology be aware that the deadline is mid-September. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
BOOKS: “Widow’s Walk” – available through iUniverse.com; “Turning Toward Tomorrow”- available through xLibris.com; “Ten Women of Valor”- available through CreateSpace.com and Amazon.com. Also on Amazon Kindle.