Lake Writers began as the literary arts arm of Smith Mountain Arts Council (SMAC) in 2000. The group meets twice monthly on the second and fourth Fridays to exchange information on the art and craft of writing, share information on contests and opportunities for getting published, critique each other work, and organize contest and activities to promote writing and publishing.
Over 15 years, between 100 and 200 writers have been members, with a large number being published as hybrid, self, or traditional authors. More than 25 members have published one or more books. A typical meeting has been 15 and 20 writers in attendance.
In addition to improve individual writers’ abilities, Lake Writers has organized writing contests, hosted comedy cafes, sponsored readings, and organized book signing events. It has brought in editors, publishers, and agents to discuss the business aspects of publishing.
Lake Writers has published four anthologies to support SMAC’s scholarship fund. The first, Voices from Smith Mountain Lake, was published in 2013 and contained contributions from the writers themselves and residents from the lake area. In 2015, Lake Writers undertook a challenge to write “the worst book ever written.” Nekkid Came the Swimmer is a spoof on life at SML. In 2016, Reflections on Smith Mountain Lake celebrated the 50th anniversary of the completion of filling the lake. In 2019, another anthology, a collection by Lake Writers only, will celebrate the 30th anniversary of SMAC.
By 2011, Lake Writers became a satellite chapter of The Virginia Writers Club in affiliation with the Valley Writers chapter in Roanoke. Many members joined both chapters. Members of both local chapters have served on the board of governors for The Virginia Writers Club. Two served as president.
Lake Writers meets twice a month on the second and fourth Fridays at 10:00 to noon. The first meeting is at Moneta/Smith Mountain Lake Library near Downtown Moneta; the second meeting is at the Smith Mountain Lake Association conference room on Scruggs Road.
Writers of all levels are encouraged to visit, join, and participate in the critiques.