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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » How does one find a live face to face writers group?

Author Topic: How does one find a live face to face writers group?
Member # 8501

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I read pros and cons of actual face-to-face writers groups for fantasy and science fiction. I have emailed some people about it, but have yet to receive answers. I am the only writer in my social circles (that I know of). I've looked on the web and can't find any current information. That's how I ended up on Hatrack.

I like the online groups, but would like some actual contact as well.

Any advice?

[This message has been edited by Owasm (edited May 19, 2009).]

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Member # 8533

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E-mail me. It appears that we live in the same state at least. I'm still in my world building / characterization phase but perhaps I could help.

As for finding writing groups I don't know anything about that yet. I've only been back to writing for a few months.


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Member # 8019

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I've had experiences in face writing workshops that were good and bad. Finding a suitable one is not easy. One place to start looking is through a state writers network that tracks regional workshops. Many states have at least one writing network. Depending on where one lives, the number of options available for existing groups varies widely. Utah has several statewide writing networks.

Another good place to look is at community colleges. Private writing workshops are a common outgrowth of writing curriculum. Sometimes libraries offer meeting space that might host writing workshops.

In an alternative, if no workshop group exists or none suits one's needs, starting one is a possibility. I've had my worst experiences with new groups though. Some people start writing groups because they have a controlling nature and like being in the spotlight of power politics that moderating groups offers.

Locally, the longest established writers group has another issue, they're a tight-knit group and tend to browbeat new members into compliant approving submission or drive them away once they've collected membership dues.

My best face-to-face workshop experiences were in college writing courses. At least the professors who moderated the workshops were attentative to the perils and sufficiently experienced to defuse malefactors, as well as effectively facilitate discussion without impeding a free and open exchange of ideas. But even in those, I had issues with other participants inciting personal attacks. It's brutal enough without making it personal.

However, recent events have once again confirmed for me that studying writing and writing is a solitary pursuit, at least for me anyway. But I'm still trying and failing to find a suitable group. I won't start one because I'm afraid of the personal risks involved.

For an assortment of reasons, I'd like to enroll in a graduate writing program, at least for the workshop curriculum, but that's not on the near horizon either.

[This message has been edited by extrinsic (edited May 19, 2009).]

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Member # 3112

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Check with your local public library. That's how I found mine.
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Member # 2109

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Go to 2nd-hand bookstores and ask. They often host writer's groups or at least post their notices on a bulletin board.

Given how easy it is to chat online, you might wish to try out using Skype and recruiting people across the net to meet at a convenient time each week. Easy to email each other your writing to look at before the meeting. Sure, it doesn't take the place of face to face meetings, but it also sidesteps some of the problems of face to face meetings.

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Member # 5675

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I found an in-person writers group when I moved here from a post at a coffee shop, and it's been a great experience. I think a good approach is to go in and ask questions to the group about what they do, and sit in on a couple of critique sessions before submitting your own work. That way, you can tell if the critiques from people are constructive or if they're less so.

And check to see what genres the group does, and which ones they're open to critiquing, and what levels of writing experience they have.

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Member # 5137

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I found one at my local (large chain) bookstore.

There's also one at my local library, but it is more of a critique group (the one I attend is more of a writer's support group - we do writing exercises, talk about the craft, set our own goals for our writing, and occasionally read our work and ask for input, but that input asking/offering is not the focus of the group.) The library one also meets at a time that I find inconvenient, so I don't attend it.

I like the idea of a Skype group, going to have to give that idea some thought...hmm...

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Member # 9240

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I couldn't find a local writers group that met my needs, so I made one.
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