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Writer's circle to start at Mt. Pleasant Public Library

| Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013, 9:01 p.m.
A.J. Panian | The Mt. Pleasant Journal
The Mt. Pleasant Public Library Writer's Circle will begin at 6 p.m. Sept. 5. The group's facilitator will be Fred Adams, a borough resident and retired college professor (right) who will work in conjunction with Mary Lou Shick, head librarian at the facility at 120 S. Church St. in the borough.

Be it a fledgling writer or a seasoned author, everyone has a story to tell.

That is the perspective of Fred Adams, a Mt. Pleasant resident and facilitator of the Mt. Pleasant Public Library Writer's Circle that will begin meeting in September.

“I believe everyone should have the chance to tell their story,” said Adams, 63, a Uniontown native and retired college professor who has published 50 short stories.

The circle — which will hold its first meeting from 6-8 p.m. Sept. 5 at the facility at 120 S. Church St. — offers all scribes, regardless of experience, background or level of education, the chance to do so, he said.

“In addition to creative writing courses, I've also taught technical writing, business writing, and general composition for research writing for academic purposes,” said Adams, who taught at Penn State Fayette — The Eberly Campus, California University of Pennsylvania and Duquesne University.

“I did teach a journalism class, as well,” he said.

The goal of the circle, Adams said, is to help individuals with like minds and talents hone each other's skills via discussion and interaction, the sharing of ideas and methods, and by exchanging helpful advice in a friendly and mutually supportive atmosphere.

“The Mt. Pleasant Public Library Writer's Circle aims to do just that among interested writers in the community,” Adams said. “Perhaps not everyone will be able to attend every time, and not everyone will have something new to read every time, but a group like that will inspire each other.”

The group sessions will include discussion of various aspects of writing, skill-building exercises, and the sharing and critiquing of work in progress by the group's members, Adams said.

“We encourage everyone to bring his or her work to share with the group and we encourage any writer at any level to join us and enjoy the unique act of creation that is writing,” he said.

Following his 2011 retirement from Penn State Fayette, Adams chose to relocate to Mt. Pleasant.

“It's a nice, small town; I've found it a very good place to live and a nice community,” Adams said, adding that it puts him relatively close to his parents, Fred and Catharine Adams of Uniontown.

Recently, Adams approached Mary Lou Shick, the borough facility's head librarian, with the idea of starting the circle.

“It sounded like a wonderful opportunity,” Shick said.

Upon consulting the library's board of directors and employees there, Shick learned that all agreed.

“Fred's enthusiasm is very infectious, and he seems willing to focus on many different facets of writing, so that's exciting,” she said.

Adams assured that will be the case.

“We're going to work in all genres, because they're all interrelated,” he said.

In addition to the Sept. 5 meeting, the circle will meet at 6 p.m. the additional three Thursdays in September to allow time for a cohesive group to form, Adams said.

The circle will then reassess regarding the frequency with which it will meet, he said.

“Ten to 12 people would be a nice, well-rounded group,” Adams said.

So far, at least six to eight people have inquired about taking part in the circle.

One of them is Donald Liddick, a Normalville resident and an associate professor of criminal justice at Penn State Fayette.

“I see it as an opportunity to interact not just with Fred, but with other aspiring and emerging writers in the region,” Liddick said. “The main thing for me is to have some of the stuff I've written exposed and to get some feedback. I also hope to get pointers on grammar.”

Above all, Adams said the point of the group is to welcome writers of all levels who are interested in cultivating and enhancing their crafts.

“If you are currently a published or an unpublished writer, poet or playwright, or if you are someone who has the itch to write and would like to learn more about the nuts and bolts of writing in any genre ... this is just the group for you,” he said.

To sign up to take part in the Mt. Pleasant Public Library Writer's Circle, call the library at 724-547-3850. Admission is free and open to the public.

A.J. Panian is an editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-547-5722 or