I’ve had several writers mention the need for a writer's group in their home town.
A few years ago, I ran into the same problem. Oh there was a group of very nice people already meeting but they spent most of their two hours reading their work out loud.
That didn’t work for me.
So how can you start a writing group?
Here’s what I did. I went to my local library and asked if I could schedule a room to use twice a month. I gave them a flyer telling a little bit about myself as a writer and what kind of group I wanted to start. They agreed to post it and put it in the newspaper for free. (That part helped a lot!)
Next I created an agenda to pass out:
1. Publishing Praises: A time to share your publication and contest praises with everyone to encourage others.
2. Individual Monthly Writing Goals: Be prepared to share your writing goals for the coming month and share what you have accomplished with your writing during the past month. Encourages accountability. ( I kept notes on goals.)
3. New Market Information: Please share any new writing markets you found this past month. Please share your market needs at this time.
4. Blog and Writing News: Have you found a good blog or writer’s site to share? Have you read a good writing article or book this month to share?
5. Critique Time: Bring something to share that meets the critique guidelines. Limit 1200 words.
6. Prayer Requests
I also made up guidelines for critiquing that would make it comfortable for everyone to share—with a time limit.
Then I waited alone in the room for someone to come. Thankfully they did. It was the first time in my life I’d ever done anything like this.
For over a year and a half we met and grew closer and closer. Just today, I received an email from one of the writers that he got accepted in Chicken Soup. It made my day.
Do you need a writers’ group? What’s stopping you from starting one?