It all started with an ad on Craigslist. Three years ago, St-Armand writer and homeowner, Rosemary Willis Sullivan placed an ad to rent her Pigeon Hill home for the winter season. Writer Gail Marlene Schwartz, who was living in Montreal at the time, saw the ad and was immediately drawn in. “It was written very differently than the other ads,” said Schwartz. “It mentioned the community, local businesses, quirky details about the property…I knew that house was where we needed to be for that season and also that I wanted to get to know the owner.”
She and her partner and son traveled to Pigeon Hill each weekend during the winter and spring of 2013/14 and fell in love with St-Armand. They decided they wanted to live here year round and, last July, the family moved into their current home on Chemin Solomon.
Through the rental and subsequent contact, Sullivan and Schwartz soon realized they were both writers. Sullivan worked as a freelance radio documentary producer for CBC and also did occassional freelance work for the NFB including writing study guides. Moving to the Eastern Townships, she also wrote a weekly column for the Sherbrooke Record for a number of years. During her winter time away, she participated in a writers group on the Caribbean island of Nevis as well as creating two books of oral history illustrated by her photography as a thank-you to that island community.
Schwartz’s creative writing has been published in several anthologies and literary journals and she is a freelance commercial copywriter/editor (www.gailwrites.net) and teaches writing at the Community College of Vermont. The two are launching a new project : a writing group, Writers’ Space/L’espace pour écrire. The group is open to anybody who is serious about writing and growing his or her writing practice, although writers who have published are especially encouraged.
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