The locavore movement has been in full swing in the heart of the Buckeye state for as long as anyone can remember, but has been coming on with force for the better part of a decade. The lines at Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams are out the door, farmer’s markets are elbow-to-elbow and every restaurant from Northstar Café to Dirty Frank’s is pushing a locally grown blurb on their menu. Columbus has always supported its own, from local bands and artists to food, so where’s the love been for local writers putting the pen to the paper for the sake of entertainment?
“There has always been a lot of support out there for local bands, food and artists, but somehow local writers are kind of left out of the loop,” says Brad Pauquette, director of the Columbus Creative Cooperative. “I think it’s important to support local writers just as much. With the size of a city like Columbus and the talent here, there is no reason it can’t.”
Pauquette started the Columbus Creative Cooperative with a group of like-minded writers in 2010 to try and nurture and inspire local authors to greater heights by honest peer criticism and interaction. The group accepts the curious beginner level of writer up to the polished and published. Meeting at least twice a month for writer’s workshops and sometimes for other events such as readings, the co-op gives writers a chance to grow and possibly be published.
“We publish an anthology of short stories chosen from submissions from local writers, hopefully a couple of times a year if everything pans out,” says Pauquette. “So far, we have published one, and are going through the submissions right now for the next one.”
The first anthology, Origins, carries a five-star rating on Amazon and has sold well enough through word of mouth and its availability at Cup O Joe locations to warrant the sequel. As long as the anthologies are well received, they will continue to showcase the quirky, inventive and unique stories of the talented storytellers from around the corner. For more information on Brad Pauquette and the Columbus Creative Cooperative go to www.columbuscoop.org