Writer’s Groups: Here’s How Mine Works. What About Yours?

This weekend our writer’s group met. I feel very fortunate to be in an excellent group of writers who all take their work very seriously. We all get along well, and no one takes offense at being critiqued. Focused on writing for children, we meet once a month (although we did take a couple of months off for the summer when vacations and life got in the way) and read our work aloud.

We also provide printed copies out for everyone. “Everyone” totals six people now, although up until a few months ago we had seven. One had to drop out due to her increased work schedule.

We take turns reading our work and then the group shares their thoughts on how the writer can improve the manuscript. Sometimes the writer brings an idea, and we conduct a brainstorming session. Fun energy abounds, as words fly back and forth. If we could see our thoughts, large colorful illustrations would pop up as giant bubbles all around us!

The great thing about our group is that we all get along, we enjoy each other’s work, and we are writing for a similar audience. We also share markets, advice, and industry news with each other.

What about you and your group? What do you like about it? Or are you having difficulties with it? Share what works for you or how you’ve overcome a problem you’ve encountered.

Writing prompts:
1. Write a scene using a writer’s group as the setting, with writers as the characters. Through in conflict for spice! 2. The title of this story: My Writer’s Group Went to New York. (Yes, it can be a fantasy. Or even a murder mystery!) 3. Write an essay about your experiences with writer’s groups.

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2 Responses to “Writer’s Groups: Here’s How Mine Works. What About Yours?”

  1. Camille Minichino Says:

    I don’t have much to add, since I’m also very lucky with a great critique group — 4 mystery writers who can have a good time bouncing around the difference in meaning between “A House” and “The House” as it appears in a title.

    We have the usual format of giving an overview critique of each person’s work first, then a page by page “edit” for everyone. The important elements are: similar markets, willingness to hear critique, respect for each other’s efforts — just as with Liz’s group.

    It might take a long time to find (or generate) a group like this, but it’s worth sticking with the process. Classes and CWC, of course, are good starting points.

  2. Susan Taylor Brown Says:

    I don’t have an in-person group so I am more than a little jealous of yours. And my on-line group seems to be drifting apart. But I am currently taking an online class that I hope will lead to a new one. Time will tell. I really miss those in-person meeting though.

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