Want to Join a Writing Group? 8 Places to Look

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Finding a helpful writing group can sometimes feel as difficult as navigating the messy middle of your writing project. But the rewards for finding a group are numerous.

A writing group can help point out inconsistencies in your work, provide encouragement, ask questions and hold you accountable to your writing goals. When we belong to a supportive community, we are able to accomplish more.

So where do you find these people? Start here:

1. Local writing centers and communities

Usually a quick Internet search with your city and “writing groups” will yield some results. Attend the group, meeting, or class and see if the group feels like a good fit.

2. Conferences

Sharing your contact information with other writing conference attendees is a great way to expand your writing community. I was invited to join my current writing group after meeting a member at a writing retreat.

3. Bulletin boards

There is still a lot to be said for this old school method of finding people! Post a sign at your favorite coffee shop, outside the writing department at your local college, or even on Craigslist. Create a process for vetting individuals or groups to determine if they are a good fit for your writing style – or not.

4. Writing associations

Professional associations such as Romance Writers of America and Mystery Writers of America have chapters throughout the country. Check their sites for directories to find other members in your local area.

5. People you already know

Many people want to write a book. Eowyn Ivey, shortlisted for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize with her first novel, The Snow Child, exchanged work on a weekly basis with her mother, Julie Hungiville Lemay, an accomplished poet.

Most of us don’t come from writer families, but this doesn’t matter; the key is establishing a routine for a regular exchange of work. It can often be easier with someone with whom you have weak ties. Consider coworkers, neighbors, or acquaintances.

6. Meetup.com

This online service connects local people with similar interests ranging from Spanish literature to Scrabble. If there isn’t a writing group in your city, start your own – or hold virtual meetings and exchange work via email.

7. Online critique groups

Multiple online services are available and are often set up as an exchange: you must critique others’ work to have your own critiqued. Though they are often free, you may need to pay for for full access or an unlimited number of critiques. Some groups to check out: Critique Circle, Review Fuse, Scribophile and Ladies Who Critique.

One thing to keep in mind is that the readers in each group may or may not be your target audience. While I was pleased with my experience on Scribophile, there was a higher proportion of men than women and a higher ratio of fantasy writers compared to other genres.

8. Social media

Social media is a great way to connect with like-minded individuals and find potential writing group members. Try these: LinkedIn Groups for Writers, Facebook Groups for Writers, Goodreads Writing Groups and Twitter Lists for Writers.

Or you can just put out a call on your own social networks that you’re starting a writing group. You might be surprised who responds!

Finding a writing group takes time but it is well worth it to have the support, feedback and encouragement a group provides. Once you find your people, consider these guidelines to make sure the group is effective for all of you.

Do you belong to a writing group? If you’re looking for a writing partner, leave a comment to connect with other readers!

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Lorena Knapp is a medevac helicopter pilot flying in Alaska. Between flights she blogs at BigStateBigLife.com and is in the middle (she hopes) of revising her first novel.... .

Big State, Big Life | @bigstatebiglife

Lorena Knapp
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Comments

  1. This is a very helpful list, Lorena.

    Thanks for bringing this on board.

    Best regards.

  2. Michael Bergeron says:

    Great list! I love lists.

    Someone should write a piece about lists called: “Here is a list of the Ten Best Lists…”

    Heh heh. Seriously, I would like to add a website that has helped me be a more prolific writer and abandon the urge to obey the inner editor while trying to just get the creative thought or idea on paper first.

    http://www.nanowrimo.org – National Novel Writing Month – 50,000 words in thirty days.

    Great resource for the “Fictionaire”.

  3. Hi,

    I stumbled on to a site a couple of days ago called Greater Seattle Women Who Write and it’s set up with MeetUp.com. Seems like a lot of writer’s groups meet during the day or toward the end of the month, and because I produce a monthly magazine during that time, I’m not able to go, so I am hoping this one will offer some options!

  4. Ava Louise says:

    Thanks for the great article. I would love to find a writing partner. Anyone in Minnesota looking for one? :)

  5. This is exactly the list I was looking to find. I came over from the A to Z blog challenge post M- for Meetup. I think an online critique group may serve me better. I’m going to investigate further on this one. I appreciate you sharing so many already established links. I may not have to start from scratch. Yay! Just in case someone is looking for me: F/SF/YA author seeking encouraging but serious writing group for soon to be published novels. :-) Shelina

  6. I found my critique group at my local library! Not everyone is on the “same page” as to what we write or what we like, but we encourage and push one another to keep at it. We meet every Tuesday and I almost never miss. When I speak about writing, my first word of advice is “join a writing group!” And if you cannot find one, start one! (I met my publisher through a connection at my writer group, too!)

  7. I belong to a most amazing writers’ group made up of seven like minded people who found each other while taking a ‘writing novels’ course through the local university outreach program. We’ve been providing support, feedback and critiques for each other for 18 months now in a comfortable, non-confrontational environment. One of the important catalysts that brought us together and keeps us together was the class we took together.

  8. I love lists, and this is a great one! And right on topic for me currently. I’ll be checking into a few of these possibilities. Thanks!

  9. I thing it a great and i have a talent in writing .novel,screenwriting,fiction,nonfiction,comedy,and more and i was looking to find a writing group or a partinership with any talent writer ,i have more ideas to be writen and done please.

    Thanks
    Sabah

  10. Excellent advice, Lorena! Writing groups are fantastic to a part of because they can help a writer in a lot of areas. If you go to a festival or conference, bring your business cards, and later on you get theirs and you can follow up and create contacts. Even if it doesn’t lead to a writing group, contacts are everything in this business.

  11. Thanks for the grate article, I would love to find a writing partner. I have talent in designing and looking to find a writing group or a partinership with any talent writer.

  12. Christian memoir, 83K words, working on Book Proposal; but I really need experienced beta readers and input. Ex pat living in PaP Haiti for 37 years, tough to find someone here!

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  1. […] group, you are on your way to completion and success. While Meetup is not the only way, it is one of several ways to find a good writing group that can help advise you and critique your work. I attribute the […]

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