First Ohio City/Tremont Writer's Meeting Sets Positive Tone for the Future
Something special took place at LOOP in Tremont on Feb. 23. Gathered in the quaint neighborhood coffee shop, which features in-house roasts, works of art and even its own music store, was a group of writers who would go on to produce some of the first pieces for the newly-minted Ohio City/Tremont Observer.
Attendees of the first official writer's meeting for the latest member of the Observer family freely exchanged ideas for what they wanted to write about. Editor Erika Durham opened the meeting by pulling slips out of a box containing a wealth of suggestions for the inaugural issue.
There wasn't a bad idea in the bunch. Were some a bit unconventional. Yes. But that is the point and it's beautiful!
It was clear from the start that this is not a place where contributers should fear scrutinizy or judgement. It is a place free of status quo to dictate what is a valid thought and who is relevant.
Some companies like to say similar things about themselves. Boy, oh boy, do they like to think of themselves as being open-minded beacons of enlightenment, influenced by nothing more than the purest of pure intentions to tell the truth and be true advocates for the First Amendment rights of all...as long as their stakeholders are happy, of course. But, we're not talking about them.
We're talking about a place where freedom of expression actually exists and is open to all members of the community with a mind to exercise it, regardless of writing background or lack thereof. And a place like that now is taking a foothold in Ohio City and Tremont it has potential to be something truly special.
The role of the community writers, some of whom may have never been officially published prior to now, is to become voices for their community. Unlike traditional publications, the Observer is not a collection of works guarded by gatekeepers of what we are to believe is or is not important. It is instead a platform for anyone with a mind and an opinion who has the will to put their thoughts out there for others to find, contemplate and, hopefully, feel compelled to share their own thoughts and ideas pertaining to the neighborhood in which they live, work and/or simply enjoy visiting.
I am a 2011 graduate of Cleveland State University. I have a wife, Samantha, a daughter, Zoey, and another child due in the summer of 2016. I've worked as a journalist in Greater Cleveland covering community news and sports and also have a passion for music, listening to it and playing it on guitar.