About 17 years ago, the former publisher of the Empire-Tribune, Jim Stevenson, asked if I would be interested in writing a weekly column that would publish in Sunday's Lifestyle's section. 

I was hesitant at first, but agreed to write a couple and send them to him to review. 

To my astonishment, he loved the columns and hired me on the spot, spurring a 17-year love affair with writing. 

At the time, I wrote about life as a stay-at-home mom raising three kids, and never imagined the column would lead to a career in journalism. 

Although I love writing news and feature stories, I still have a special place in my heart for columns and those who write them. 

I'm a firm believer that our role as a community newspaper is to be a voice for those who live and work here, and I don't think there is anything more interesting than hearing from our neighbors. 

That's why I put together a group of community columnists many years ago.

That group has changed over the years and now we are looking to add a few more faces to our weekly publications. 

If you enjoy writing and want to share your talent with our readers, now is your chance. 

We are searching for a handful of Erath County residents willing to write a monthly column on anything of interest. 

If you find the idea of having your own column appealing, drop me an email with a writing sample and phone number and I will get back with you ASAP. 

I look forward to hearing from you. 

Sara Vanden Berge is the managing editor of the Empire-Tribune and Glen Rose Reporter. She can be reached at svandenberge@empiretribune.com.