Lindsay Hobbs of the Haliburton County Public Library (HCPL) hopes the newlystarted writing circles for teens and adults will offer a “judgement free zone” for wordsmiths to hone their crafts and find community with others.

“It’s so beneficial to have people to bounce ideas off of or talk about aspects of craft,” Hobbs said. As well as working at the HCPL, Hobbs is a writer and editor.

“I spend a lot of my time immersed in the theory of writing craft and the practice of writing.”

She said the adult session will be tailored towards what attendees want to chat about.

Each night will have a discussion on an element of writing, such as revealing characters’ personalities through showing rather than telling, or talking about plot points on a “hero’s journey” or other common literary story structures.

“The whole driving force behind this is to help build a writing community,” Hobbs said.

The teen sessions will be similar, but might include discussions on diverse types of writing, such as video games, fan fiction and more.

“It’s exploring the nuts and bolts of writing craft they might not be learning in their English classes in school,” Hobbs said.

For writers who may feel discussing their own writing is daunting, Hobbs said, “feel free to come and sit quietly – there’s no expectation to participate or compare work.”

Eventually, she hopes to encourage writers to share their work with other group members for constructive feedback.

The writing circles will be hosted on the last Thursday of each month, with the teens meeting at the Dysart branch from 4-5 p.m. and adults in Minden from 6-7 p.m.

It’s free to attend and registration is not required.