How The Restless Pen came to be.
The Writers Group of Leisure World — a vast, 55+ community outside of Washington, DC, in Silver Spring, Maryland — recently self-published its second anthology, The Restless Pen: A Gift from an Ageless Generation, an assemblage of 172 original pieces from 15 contributors. The selections, though all very different, have one thing in common: They come from writers who’ve spent at least four decades perfecting their craft.
The book’s editor, Woody Shields, describes the effort as a labor of love. Much of the work on it was done at the group’s bimonthly meetings, during which members were allotted five minutes apiece to share their writing.
“The club is blessed with diverse members whose lifetime talents cover various walks of life, including renowned professors, medical professionals, and government experts,” says Shields, adding that the anthology took about seven months to compile.
Readers can expect an array of offerings in the collection, from first-person remembrances and short stories to tales of faraway places and beloved pets. Poetry features heavily, too, much of it colored by the bittersweet poignancy that comes from seasoned writers reflecting on long, fulfilling lives.
Given the enthusiastic response to this and the group’s earlier anthology, Lessons of Life, says Shields, “We [now] plan to publish more frequently to target different audiences.” Fortunately, computers make the increased output possible.
“Over two-thirds of the submissions for our first anthology were [on] paper, sometimes handwritten, but submissions for The Restless Pen were entirely digital,” he explains. “Our seniors are [now] motivated to share their life stories with the current technology. It is a joy to watch the empowerment.”
Holly Smith is editor-in-chief of the Independent.