Calling All Writers–Online Writing Group

Those of you who have been following my blog know that one of my goals for my “Year of Writing” was to join a writing group.

Well, now I have joined two, and I’m hooked. The experience has been very positive, and being surrounded by a community of writers is so inspiring. But that is a post for another day.

Today, I am wondering who out there may be interested in an online writing exchange. I have communicated with a few other bloggers who expressed an interest in this. So I am testing the waters.

I’m open to suggestions, but I can imagine the following format:

  • Each participant will submit a piece once a week to a group of writers via email. Let’s say our day for submissions is Wednesday. So as not to overload each other, I would suggest a maximum word count of maybe 1,500 words.
  • Once you receive another writers piece, we will read and make our own written comments. We could do line edits as well as a paragraph or so of feedback. I personally would like both positive and negative critique, as long as it is constructive.
  • The reviewer will have one week to return the piece to the writer. We should return the piece with our edits and comments by the following Wednesday. When we start all over again.
  • Writers could submit a continuous piece, if they are working on a manuscript or a novel. We could do individual pieces, short stories, fiction, poetry, whatever interests you.
  • If people would like to do “group chats” that could also be a possibility, although I am fine doing it all via emails.

Again, this is just an idea, and I am very open to other writers opinions. Please let me know if something like this is of interest to you! I look forward to sharing work with you all, and as always, Happy Writing!

Joining a Writing Group

At the beginning of the year one of my goals was to join a writing group. It is an important way not only to connect with other people who share similar interests but also to receive important feedback and critique.

Since I am not living in a big city my options are rather limited. I was surprised to find how few writing groups there are in Western Massachusetts. Here are a few that I’ve found:

Northampton, MA: I was in touch with the leader of this writing group. It is a ten-week course with weekly sessions. Each session includes a writing exercise followed by reading. However, only two people get “positive feedback only” on their writing. The other people just get to read with no feedback (otherwise, in the words of the group leader, we would be there all night). I don’t really see the point in receiving only positive feedback, but maybe some other people out there have had good experiences with this technique. I will go to a trial class in two weeks to check it out.

Amherst, MA: This is another ten-week session with weekly meetings. Writing ranges from fiction to poetry to essays. Sounds pretty interesting, but one of the things that makes me hesitate is that I would be the youngest person there, by at least two decades. I know it is important to make connections with writers of all generations, but I do feel like the age gap may make it a little harder for them to understand my writing. I’m going to a trial class this week to see what it’s like.

Hadley, MA: This is an eight-week workshop whose participants are mostly post-college writers. The spring session is focusing only on fiction, which is great. Participants will get two workshops where they share work with the class, receive line edits as well as a one-page critique of the piece. I think this will be the best group for me to join, due to the age and interest of the participants and what I can expect to receive in terms of feedback.

I am very excited to be joining this group, along with my good friend Halie Mills, whose writing of poetry and prose inspires me. I hope that being surrounded by other young writers will help give me further perspective as I continue working on my manuscript.

If any readers out there have any comments or suggestions about finding a writing group I would love to hear from you!