My favorite writing groups

I started writing seven years ago. At the time I didn’t have a clue what I was doing so I joined several writing groups and took lots and lots of workshops and classes, both in person and online. Every one of these groups and classes added to my skill base and provided support and contacts.

At this point I don’t consider myself “a beginner” but I certainly still have a lot to learn. I have joined, unjoined, stayed joined but quit attending, many groups. Those I maintain are the ones that continue to offer me something I need.

If you are new to writing I suggest you find groups. But you need to realize that not every group will be a good fit. Shop around, try things out. Here are the questions I asked myself when deciding which groups warranted my time and energy.

1. Are the writers like-minded? What is the goal of their written work? Is it a group focused on the financial outcome? (Not a good fit for me) Or are these writers who love to write? (The perfect fit!)

2. Do you want a group that is genre specific or more global? There are benefits to both kinds. Genre specific can provide trends, hints, and viewpoints. More general groups have a broader spectrum of information and maybe you don’t write in just one area.

3. As above, fiction or non-fiction?

4. Is there a significant level of expertise available in the group? For a face-to-face group it works to have folks on the same level…mine was all beginners who met in a writing class and I LOVE everything we learned together. We have modified the frequency and goals of our meetings over the years but we still provide critique swaps, beta reads, and proof reads. That said….I have tried ten different Facebook writing groups before settling on one that works for me. Too commercial, too much sales to each other pitching, to inexperienced…..

5. Do you want to focus on traditional publishing or independent publishing? This can make a difference in the kinds of interaction or support you are looking for, or maybe it doesn’t matter at all.

I will close with a note of gratitude to the Facebook group I love the most, Women Writers Women’s Books. This is a closed, but large group. They post all kinds of topics and offer practical advice. I have “met” several of the members to swap beta reads. I have even met one in person, through a long list of coincidences she works in the same place as my son. Which is in a whole different state from where I live! I consider us “friends”…the real kind, not the FB kind.

Here is the link to the website connected with this group: http://booksbywomen.org

Happy writing!