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Effort underway to form group for Seminole writers

Elgin Jumper knows he isn’t the only tribal member who enjoys writing, so he created a Seminole writers group for him and others to share their passion and support one another in their creative endeavors.

“I always wondered why there wasn’t a group of Seminole writers who can share, learn and study the art and craft of writing together,” said Jumper, who is a writer, poet and visual artist. “I’d like to give this some rocket fuel to get it going.”

Elgin Jumper (Photo Beverly Bidney)

The first meeting will be held at the To-Pee-Kee-Ke Yak-Ne Community Center in Big Cypress on Dec. 8 at 2 p.m.
Jumper believes there has never been a group like this and wants to create a sense of urgency to encourage aspiring writers. He envisions the group as a forum for writers which could ultimately help getting their work published. The meetings will include readings, discussions, guest speakers and possibly critiques.

“We have a garden with all these flowers, but there hasn’t been any sunlight getting to them,” Jumper said. “We want to part the clouds and let the sunbeam come down and help the Seminole writers group grow, stand tall and make a difference for writers.”

The first meeting will be opened by HERO community engagement manager Quenton Cypress and led by Jumper. Writers will be able to introduce themselves and read from their work. The group will discuss future meetings.

“What we learn will inform how we go from there,” Jumper said. “We want to create a love and passion for reading; reading and writing go hand in hand. Reading gives your imagination a place to live, a place to grow.”

Beverly Bidney
Beverly Bidney has been a reporter and photographer for The Seminole Tribune since 2012. During her career, she has worked at various newspapers around the country including the Muskogee Phoenix in Oklahoma, Miami Herald, Associated Press, USA Today and other publications nationwide. A NAJA award winning journalist, she has covered just about everything over the years and is an advocate for a strong press. Contact her at