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anthology-cover-fifth-editionJoin us on Monday, November 28, our regular monthly meeting, for the launch of the fifth edition of the San Diego Writers/Editors’ Anthology, The Guilded Pen. As a preview, we offer a few words from Kathi Diamant in the anthology’s Foreward.

“What is written is merely the ashes of our experience.”

—Franz Kafka

This collection of short stories, poems, and imaginative essays is the culmination of lifetimes of experience, of memory, of love. Of determination, perseverance, and hard work. That you are holding this book in your hands in an essential final piece in the natural order of the writing process. By reading this book, you make the cycle—from germination of the idea to the writing, rewriting, editing, critiquing, copyediting, and so on until finally, publication—complete and whole. In exploring the prose and poetry within these pages, you will enter the writer’s world and at least for a few pages, expand and enrich your own world. This is the promise of reading.

Most, if not all, writers start off as readers. The more we read, often, the more we are inspired to write, to tell our own stories, write our own histories, reveal our own truths. Ah, but then there is the writing. The actual putting pen to paper, or fingers to the keyboard. As anyone who has ever sat down with a bright and shining idea, a story, an unrealized reality, a dream, and tried to put it into words knows the immensity of that undertaking. The heartbreak. The frustration. The relief. The joy. The deeper you go in the process, the more you lose your way, and find yourself. But we writers are not alone. Although the act of writing is by necessity solitary, the writing world itself is brimming with help and support.

There are few professional communities with as much collegial advice and guidance as writing. There are myriad magazines, classes, books, meet-ups, blogs, websites, and writing support groups. The writers in this anthology are members of the San Diego Writers/Editors Guild, a nonprofit organization which promotes, supports, and encourages writing for youth and adults. Royalties from the sale of The Guilded Pen help fund the worthy endeavor of supporting San Diego writers, allowing for the fullness of their expression. In a vital way, this anthology promotes writers by presenting an opportunity for publication, a fine and noble achievement. It encourages reading, by offering the best efforts of our local writers, from best-selling authors to previously unpublished poets, and the opportunity to discover the many literary styles and subjects found in our own communities.

As a writer who learned to write because I had a story I had to tell, I know the long, unspeakable process of getting a manuscript ready for publication, even if it is just a few pages. I know how important it is to see one’s work in print, the encouragement derived from a dream made real. My first book publication was an essay in an anthology, and it gave me the strength and certainty that I was on the right path.

To all the writers published here, thank you for sharing your talent, skill, and hard work. To those seasoned pros, thank you for showing us why you are successful. To those published for the first time here, congratulations and well done! To the readers of this new fifth edition, know that in buying this book, you are actively supporting writers who may be your neighbors, colleagues, friends, and family. You are fulfilling the hope and promise of their labor by bearing witness. Bless you, dear reader.

Kathi Diamant is an author, writing instructor, and coach, and above all, a reader.