Almost Yesterday: Writers Guild Of Cape Girardeau Formed in 1943
It seems like Almost Yesterday that the Cape Girardeau Writers' Guild was organized. The date was October 30, 1943, and the meeting was called by Dr. Earl A. Collins, a long-time professor of history at Southeast Missouri State College.
The purpose of the meeting, according to Dr. Collins, was to regularly bring together anyone who had an interest in writing.
Six people responded to the initial call, and provided early leadership for the group. Forest E. Wolverton was selected as the first president and Miss Elizabeth Walther as secretary and treasurer. Other charter members included Mr. John Putz, Jr. Felix Snider, Director of the State College Library, and Mr. Vest Myer, Dean of the State College.
From these early gatherings in the middle of World War Two, The Writers' Guild maintained a record of monthly meetings, with the concise minutes of Miss Elizabeth Walther reflecting the growth and success of the organization. Following the October 22, 1944 meeting, Miss Walther recorded that Dean Myer read excerpts from Goodspeed's History, followed by Mrs. Myer's serving of excellent fruit salad, sandwiches and coffee. She added, "We were at a nice affair."
An indication that The Writers' Guild was to make a mark in the community was a dinner meeting held at the Cape Girardeau Colonial Tavern on June 25, 1946. On that occasion, Mr. O. K. Armstrong of Springfield, Missouri, the Regional Editor of the Reader's Digest, spoke to a large audience about the important role that writers could - and should - play in the postwar world.
By the end of 1948, The Writers' Guild had more than 35 members, including a growing list of published authors.