There is something about Sooke that seems to draw in all manner of creative people. From the artists to the woodworkers, the writers to the poets, all seem to find the solace necessary for expression.
Write from Sooke is an anthology of short stories, memoirs and poems from 15 local writers and six Edward Milne Community School students. Write from Sooke is the fourth anthology published by the Sooke Writers’ Collective and Sooke is featured in many of the pieces.
David Reichheld is one of the writers who finds inspiration from the collective. After a working life of technical and financial documents, Reichheld has finally turned his hand and his heart to writing fiction.
“A fiction writer is what I have always wanted to be,” he said.
He paved the way for his writing with degrees in creative writing and English from the University of Victoria. His eclectic career led him to Sooke and the writers’ collective. For the past three years he has been published in the anthologies and most recently he won an award and had one of his stories published in the 2017 Island Short Fiction contest for the short story Sombrio Beach.
“It felt good finishing off years as creative writing, then using every rusted out writing skill I ever had.”
The Sooke Writers Collective grew from the Sooke Scribblers, founded by Shirley Skidmore and follows the tradition of holding an annual student writing contest. This year’s contest was live with prompts, gathered from a variety of sources, given to participants the night before.
The Collective meets the first Wednesday of the month at the Sooke library, at 6:30 p.m. There are often guest speakers and the members serve as mentors, inspiration and editors for each other. The last meeting before summer is June 7.
“The group itself functions as inspiration and part perspiration,” said Reichheld. “They provide feedback. The group has been integral in improving stories and writing and I benefited immensely.”
Reichheld gives much credit to Deb Clay for being the inspiration behind the Sooke Writers’ Collective.
“The collective would like to establish itself as a purveyor of top quality fiction and just plain good writing,” he said.
Copies of all four anthologies including Write from Sooke can be purchased at the Sooke Region Museum gift shop, Well Read Books and only Write from Sooke at Barking Dog Studio. It can also be ordered on line at sookewriters.com.