Retired professor to start club for struggling authors

Even after hours of writing, some authors need an extra push to complete their works.

A retired Murray State professor has formed a club to help students and aspiring writers finish their projects and get published.

Bill Koenecke who retired after teaching for 11 years, will hold the first informational meeting about the group at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 15, at Calloway County Public Library in the library meeting room.

Koenecke’s mother taught at Murray State University as well. However, Koenecke did not start his array of careers in Murray.

Bill Koenecke

Bill Koenecke

Between five degrees and numerous superintendent and principal positions in various
Illinois school districts, Koenecke was inspired to write his first book.

Although the book is not a thriller, nor will it create an imaginary world with mythical creatures, Koenecke hopes his book will transform students’ lives.

It began when Koenecke was a chemistry teacher in Illinois.

After teaching multiple classes and later observing as a principal, he realized students were not properly forming sentences, spelling correctly or using punctuation appropriately.

So Koenecke developed a 20-page guide to basic English and grammar that he implemented in his classroom to help students learn.

Koenecke decided the sooner people are able to learn the rules of English and grammar, the better they will be later.

After calling about 10 large publishers, Koenecke received the same answer from most: They already had a book like his. That didn’t stop Koenecke.

He began writing a book influenced by his struggle with teaching grammar. The book is close to completion, although Koenecke says he is looking for need for a little inspiration to finish the book. That’s what he hopes can be achieved by starting the club.

The group is open to authors and aspiring authors in the Murray community, including Murray State students.

Koenecke said he has heard of at least two prior attempts to start a similar group. Both have failed.

Although the reasons for the dissolution of those two groups are unknown,  Koenecke said he believes that most advisers were probably professors and didn’t have the extra time to devote to the undertakings.

That’s why Koenecke said he thinks his attempt will be different.

The support group does not have a clear goal or mission. However, Koenecke has multiple guest speakers prepared to share stories about publishing books and will leave the agenda for the group members to decide.  Anyone who is interested in writing is welcome to join.

He would prefer to facilitate the meetings but is hoping for members’ suggestions and input as to how their purpose evolves.

Koenecke mentioned that he has assisted two writers in successfully publishing their novels by introducing them to the appropriate contacts.

Koenecke hopes for a smaller group to share interests and help one another in their progress, whether they are writing for a hobby or for a career.

All who are interested are encouraged to come to the meeting to determine whether the group could help them.

If Murray State students choose to join, Koenecke said he hopes he can help them publish books.

Koenecke also hopes to benefit from the group himself — getting that final push he needs to complete his grammar book.

If you go
What: Writers group, first informational meeting
When: 2 p.m. Sunday,
March 15
Where: Calloway County Public Library meeting room.


Story by Tiffany Whitfill, Staff writer