Tag: writers group

writers group

The Writers Group….. this isn’t your Beta reader

 Last night my writers group met. This is a public, regional group. We meet monthly and two members present a work in progress, often an essay, poem, or short story, sometimes 5,000 words from a longer piece.  We are a varied membership, including published authors, aspiring authors, writing faculty from local universities, and people who are curious and think they want to write.  I’m sometimes asked about the value of such a group and how it differs from Beta readers.  Most clearly, the difference is that a Beta reader is committed to ‘this project.’ The project they have agreed to read. I think Beta readers should appreciate, and hopefully read widely, in the genre of the manuscript, but most importantly they are reading as a ‘reader.’ They may not be writers at all. Good readers, widely read and critically thinking readers are invaluable for writers. They are the perfect Beta reader.  A writing group is full of people who want to write (writers must also be readers, but that is a topic for another day). Members of a writing group hope to hone craft. They hope to learn from the struggles of others, and to in turn make a contribution to the success of their […]

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Life in a writers group.

Let me start by saying that I’m feeling good about my writers group this morning. Last night one of the members brought a cake to our monthly gathering. And not just cake, but a cake with my book cover on it! Does life get better than that?  We are an open, community based group which means anyone is welcome to attend. There are about 16 on the official roster (which is mine to manage this year) and attendance is good – I’d say we have 11 or 12 at each month’s gathering. We sit at a round table, nearly shoulder to shoulder and it feels intimate without being claustrophobic.   Among writers there is a great deal of discussion about support groups. They exist along a spectrum from small and carefully curated to large and open to all. Over the course of many years I’ve decided that there is a place for all types. For me, the absolutely necessary criteria is a willingness for the members to be critiqued and to critique in a thoughtful, receptive manner.  Your group may have expertise, and be composed entirely of award-winning authors, but when they gather some of that has to stay at the door. The point of […]

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