My heartfelt thanks go to the Martin Family Foundation for making the Lois Beebe Hayna Creative Writing Center a reality.
I decided to focus on writing poetry far later than I planned. When I did start to really expand my skill in the craft, I found it hard to send what I'd written out to publishers. So I started with prizes and before I knew it, I was getting First Prize in numerous contests. That increased my confidence and I summoned the courage to send to publishers and once again, found many were willing to accept my work.
If I have a message to new writers, it's this: Don't push writing to a corner of your life, time is too precious. Believe in yourself and practice writing every day. Those practice sessions help you use your most inspired moments to best advantage.
Gwendolyn Brooks once said that poetry is life distilled. We hope the Lois Beebe Hayna Creative Writing Center helps writers distill insights and endless curiosities. Having a place and incentives to stop and listen is the first step every writer, even the most famous, have made.