Someone asked in a post if we know of any writers’ groups in the area. We get this question all the time. We aren’t in a position to recommend any specific groups (although we’ve heard good things about Alison Hicks’ Wordshop Studio), but – basically all you really need to start a writers’ group are good readers and committed writers. Don’t just get your friends to sit around and talk about how great everyone is (or worse — how terrible everyone is). We’ve found the best formula to be inviting a group of careful readers willing to commit to a regular meeting (once a month, every other week) where they discuss and critique each other’s work. It helps to have one experienced facilitator in the group (maybe a teacher or experienced writer, or someone who just manages the meeting to keep everyone on task). Carla and I have had a group that has ebbed and flowed over the years (from as few as three to as many as 12), and being forced to submit work on a regular basis really is helpful. The experience of discussing what works and what doesn’t in a story/poem/essay can be a valuable tool to writers of all ability levels.
Any other feedback on writers groups out there?