All the latest news, ideas, and opinions from Denver's Independent Literary Center: lighthousewriters.org
Friday 500 began in 2011 when Lighthouse called the Ferril House its home. Its simple name—Friday 500—said all you needed to know about the goal of the program: that on Fridays (well, two Fridays a month) members could go to Lighthouse to fire out at least 500 words on whatever project they were working on, new or old, and head into the weekend with nothing but good, solid, writerly momentum guiding the way.
It was good. Writing happened. It was fun. And no one showed. Well, hardly anyone. The best-attended Friday 500 back then was five.
Then Lighthouse moved to its current location at 1515 Race Street. With the move came the realization that Friday 500 needed to be reworked. The big change was a structural one. The two-hour time slot—4:30 to 6:30 PM—was split into two parts. Attendees now wrote for the first hour, and for the second came together with the group to discuss craft topics, socialize, and share. Lighthouse instructors talked about the workshop process, and participants practiced reading into a microphone. Those writers who needed to keep on keeping on were encouraged to continue writing through the two hours.
This structure still stands today. And the result?
Now an average Friday 500 brings in 25 to 40 or more writers. In 2013, a total of 477 writers attended Friday 500. The 2014 goal is—you guessed it—500.
500 at the 500!
It must be said. Those who regularly attend the 500 work their tails off. They clock dozens upon dozens of hours writing and discussing. With each other they talk shop and build friendships. They bond over their projects and take, word-by-word and shoulder-to-shoulder, their fight to the page. In short, they are seeing this work done.
Sound right? Damn straight. So, BICHOK.
All we do is BICHOK and BICHOK is all we know. Come up and BICHOK with us some time. Anyone is invited to attend a Friday 500 once, though regular attendance requires a Lighthouse membership.
And why are we telling you this now? Friday 500 is about to get another, much smaller change. Starting next month, we’re going to capture a moment from the Friday 500s in our blog—be it a piece someone wrote, a lesson that was learned, maybe even the recording of a brave new reader. Something that gives you, dear reader, the essence of our very unique and hard-working Friday 500 community.
Here are the upcoming second-hour Friday 500 topics: Character; Craft Books; Research.
We meet every second and fourth Friday of the month, from 4:30 to 6:30 PM. Hope to see you there.