Being a writer can be a lonely experience which is why so many of us search out a good writing group. Whether you are an aspiring novelist, participating in NaNoWriMo, or just like telling stories – writing need not be lonely.
I love writing but I find staying motivated to get things finished hard to impossible. That was until I started attending writing groups. Just the expectation that I would soon need something new and ready to be seen was the boost I needed to keep plugging away at it. Not to mention helping me see where my writing needed tightening up.
1. Check in at local community centres.
Community centres are more than places where mother and baby groups share a space with arts and crafts. You might be surprised at the many resources your local community centre has.
Local people trying to start something, meet with like minded people, or just get together, often advertise their intentions at the local community centre. That includes writing groups.
2. Visit your local library
A writing group that is serious about writing will – sooner or later – realise that the best place to find people who love writing is where books are found. That could be because you have to read to become better at writing. Or it could just be because libraries are an amazing local resource.
3. Join a writers association.
Writers associations come in all sizes from huge to tiny. Some organisations (like Thanet Creative) are focused on one specific geographic area. Others ona genre. On the whole, they are amazing resources for any budding writer (exceptions apply as in all things).
You might not even need to join a writer’s association to have them help you find a writer’s group. Many maintain directories of member run groups.
4. Check local classifieds
Almost all community groups are in a constant search for new people to join them. Classifieds sites (like Kent Index) are a valuable resource for reaching out to the people arround you.
5. Find a group on social media.
When it comes to writing and writing groups, social media – especially Facebook and Tumblr – is a goldmine for writers, writing advice, and support groups. For example, we run a Thanet Creative: Writers group on Facebook.
A quick search is often all you need. Just beware of the fakes and scams that sometimes crop up on social media. Take the time to check out what the online group is posting and what they expect from their members.
If you are looking for an online-only writing group, check out our pick of ten great Facebook groups for writers.
6. Go on a writing retreat.
Atmiddely, this is not a practical tip during the COVID pandemic, but if and when life returns to normal, one of the best ways to make friends with fellow writers is to simply go on a writing retreat where everyone you meet will be a writer just like you.
If the retreat is locally run, the chances are some or all of the writers will be part of a writing group. Thus, you are quite likely to have several local groups recommended to you.
Even if the retreat is not local, the friendships that you make may evolve into a tight knit online community of writing peers.
7. Discover a group on Meetup.com.
Sites like meetup.com are an excellent way to find events that are happening near you. The chances are that there is a writing group or two promoting themselves on such sites.
The same is true of Facebook which is a natural home for many writing groups. Thanet Creative runs one such Facebook writer’s group.
8. Join an explorer’s group
Groups like Kent Fiction Writers don’t run their own events. Instead they make a point of visiting and getting to know other groups. A well established group exploring group should be able to help you identify a writing group that meets your particular needs.
9. Make your own writing group
Sometimes you just can’t find quite what you are looking for. If that happens you could always start your own group.
You might think to advertise your new group in local community centres, libraries, classifieds sites, and social media.
Our advice on running a writing group
- Look after all your group
- Having fun at a writer’s group
- How to receive advice as a writer
- Advice on giving advice
- Three questions every test reader should ask
Remember to watch for these signs of a bad writing group so you can avoid them in your own group.
Over to you
What other tips would you suggest for writers looking for a good group to join?
Are you part of a writer’s group? If so, how did you find them?
Let me know your thoughts on writing groups and on finding them in the comments below.