Bridges Writers' Group
(and possibly subways, tunnels, turnpikes,
parkways, ferries, and expressways)
The group in its various and fluid incarnations began in the early 1970s when Florence Bonime, a novelist and editor teaching at The New School, invited a number of her most talented students to form a workshop. For many years they held monthly meetings in her tenth floor apartment on Washington Square. Flo set the standards, insisting on close attention to matters of form and craft, constructive criticism, and awareness of the writer's voice, with the author reading several paragraphs before the discussion of the work.
Even though Flo died many years ago and none of the original members remains in the group, it still adheres to her guidelines. The purpose of each discussion of a story or novel chapters remains to help the writer realize his or her goals for the work. This method has resulted in a large number of published stories, as well as collections and an occasional novel.
In recent years, the group has met in various locations, almost always members' houses or apartments in the city, with occasional forays into New Jersey, New York state, and Connecticut. It took its name at a time when meetings alternated between apartments north of the George Washington Bridge and south of the Brooklyn Bridge. Now, most often, it meets south of the GW and north of the Brooklyn. Members travel by subway, train, and car from the Tristate area and even, at one time, from Virginia.
As of 2014, the members are: