Despite the pandemic, members of Conway Writers Group have kept busy writing at home and creating articles, essays and poems. Co-leader Jean Leffler has encouraged members to share their recent “homework” with other members through a Google group website and by email exchanges.

Mike Bass and Sharon Freyaldenhoven earned recognition for literary work submitted to recent writer’s contests sponsored by two area organizations. Arkansas Writers’ Conference presented a First Honorable Mention to Bass for his poem titled, “Our Endearing Imperfections,” and Freyaldenhoven received a Third Honorable Mention for her poem, “Butterflies.”

The White County Creative Writers Conference presented a Second Place Award to Bass for his poem, “For Her,” and a First (and only) Honorable Mention award for his short story, “Unwanted Superpowers Anonymous.”

Articles created by Jean Leffler and co-leader Bob Reising were recently published in regional magazines. Leffler’s work was published in several neighborhood publications in the Little Rock area. Her horror story was included – along with stories by other authors – in the “Tales of Terror Volume Three” published by Raven’s Inn Press. Reising’s ongoing sports-related articles were published in a regional magazine that serves central Arkansas. He is also working on a book.

During the pandemic, Mike Mottler created 28 poems about COVID-19. Some were published in the Log Cabin Democrat; some were shared at the CWG Google group website; and all 28 were self-published in a booklet he titled “WORDWORX.”

Michael Abernathy, a retired minister and an active writer of history-based stories, wrote an intense study of the first chapter of the Book of John in the Bible. That scholarly work was written for professionals, but the text is appropriate for reading and study by interested laypersons.

Members responded to a writing challenge to write a limerick and share it with other members through the internet. This limerick by June Simmons was one of them:

When asked if they wanted to write

A limerick, they said, “All right!”

To the structure they chose,

He turned up his nose,

And it almost has started a fight.

Now an 18-member group, CWG met weekly for years at the Ola and John Hawks Senior Center in Conway on Friday afternoons. When the center closed in March because of the pandemic, the group was not able to meet in person, read their work and invite comments.

“Members hope the center will re-open soon so we can get together, share our creative writing in person and encourage completion of works in progress,” Reising said.

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