Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

A Blog Conversation about Writers’ Groups . . .

Our previous conversation here was about Book Promotion; but, it ended due to a lack of reader comment… Writers' Groups

I’ll begin this new discussion by sharing that I’ve only attended two writers’ groups in my relatively long life and didn’t see the benefits of the arrangement.

My not appreciating the experience could have been due to the way they were conducted or the particular people attending; though, now that I’m quite a bit older then when they happened, I could add my individual “disposition” to why they didn’t work for me.


My best friend is and has been for many years quite faithful in her attendance and participation in her writers’ group; and, she happens to have quite the independent mind; so, there must be something worthwhile in certain writers’ groups, for certain people…

I’m sure there’s a profusion of different kinds of writers’ groups in the world since, in the first place, writers are usually quite unique folks; and, in the second place, a group of writers couldn’t very well form a group without it also being unique; though, I suppose there are a few groups out there that copy the structure and behavior of other groups and either fail or limp along helping none of the participants…

And, I should mention, this discussion isn’t about writing “workshops” (usually, limited-time events); but, there could be workshop elements in a regularly-meeting group…

As far as the “right” kind of group, I could only imagine it would need to have a first meeting with the immediate group of writers; and, those writers would need to “write the first draft” of what their particular group needed to accomplish for the members—a collaborative sketching out of the type of “organism” the group could become—the group’s “story”…

Naturally, if other writers were admitted to the group, the “story” would need some sort of “revision” based on the new “characters”—not necessarily a complete recasting of the group; but, at least, some adjustments for the creative nature of the new participants…


Maybe I’ve just drawn up a plan for a writers’ group I could join :-)

Then again, being a septuagenarian, I’ll continue plotting my writer’s voyage alone; yet, certainly, stopping in my best friend’s port of call for a bit of writerly banter and, perhaps, from time to time, a sounding out of a new way to set my sails…

Though, from what I’ve just said, you might think my friend and I have a writers’ group; but, in my definition of “group”, there must be at least three people…

However, recently, I’ve been visiting a “writing community“; but, due to the intensive nature of my personal writing activities, I only check in for short spells of friendly chat…

And, no matter what I may say about our discussion topic, folks who’ve attained some renown in writerly pursuits have belonged to writers’ groups.

According to an article on Inked Voices the following writers found value in the group experience:

J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Virginia Woolf, EM Forster, John Maynard Keynes, Robert Frost, Rupert Brooke, Dorothy Parker, Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce, Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein, F. Scott Fitzgerald…

And, even if you don’t want to pay to join Inked Voices programs, they still have interesting pages on different types of writers’ groups and various elements of successful groups

Finally, I should mention there are online writers’ groups, as well as a few in virtual worlds…


Are you in a writers’ group…?

What do you most enjoy about your writers’ group…?

Do you think you need to join a writers’ group…?

Are you sure a writers’ group could never fit your needs…?

Have you formed or are you about to form a writers’ group…?

What do you think is most important for a successful writers’ group…?

All it takes is one reader comment to continue this conversation :-)
If you don’t see a way to comment, try the link at the upper right of this post…
Our Blog Conversations are on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays—the rest of the week, I share valuable posts from other blogs

For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

9 responses to “A Blog Conversation about Writers’ Groups . . .

  1. Shelley Burbank November 14, 2018 at 3:09 pm

    I’ve had various experiences but am happy to report that I my current writers group is fantastic. We are a small, supportive, diverse group of writers. What we do is gather together and read from our current projects—not for critique but simply to share. We end up having discussions that come up from the readings, and if someone wants some particular feedback she can request it, but mostly it is just encouragement and applause. We had a weekend “retreat” this summer where we each brought a couple of exercises or prompts to share and that was fun. Otherwise, it’s more of a gathering of people who enjoy writing. Sometimes we go to public readings together. Unfortunately for me, I’ve moved all the way across the country. I’ve “joined” the meeting via technology a couple of times, but it just isn’t as satisfying. I think the key is to find people you’d want to hang around regardless of the writing.


    • Alexander M Zoltai November 14, 2018 at 3:25 pm

      I very much appreciate your comment, Shelley, and hope you find a new, near group…

      Also, thanks for being the person who has let this particular conversation continue—I’ll feature your comment on Friday :-)


  2. Jasmine Arch November 14, 2018 at 4:29 pm

    I’m in an online community. I joined an online group in September last year, shortly after finishing my first short story. That group evolved into anothe group, and then we evolved again, into the group we are now. The one you’re in too. :-)

    In a short time, I’ve grown a lot. I’ve learned a lot. And I honestly don’t think I’d have accomplished that on my own. We push each other onwards and upwards. Share craft reading tips, experiences, knowledge gained. We help each other brainstorm and revise. We cheer for every submission made and commiserate with every rejection.

    Spending time with other creative minds acts as a catalyst for my own creative mind, and I couldn’t imagine my life without the INKlings in it, to be honest.


  3. juliecroundblog November 15, 2018 at 6:21 am

    I think the writing groups I have joined since I started publishing sort of evolved. The lead writer has written a number of books and publishes with Feedaread. That group meets in her house and we read whatever we are working on at the time and accept criticism. However we are also friends and meet outside the regular sessions and organise marketing opportunities like stalls at craft fairs and participate in book shows. We have also produced two anthologies.
    We also met for a workshop/ group where one of our number gave us a writing exercise and homework but unfortunately this is no longer operating due to illness.
    The first group have had a number of successes but the greatest success is the social and supportive element. Once one leaves work it is not always easy to find like minded companions.


  4. Pingback: More Conversation about Writers’ Groups . . . | Notes from An Alien

  5. Pingback: Still More Conversation about Writers’ Groups . . . | Notes from An Alien

  6. Pingback: Even More Conversation about Writers’ Groups . . . | Notes from An Alien

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