Writing may be a solitary activity, but your writing life needn’t be! Enter the writing group, which is quite simply a group of writers that meets to do writerly things. This can include writing together, workshopping pieces, attending events, and more. Writing groups provide a consistent connection with fellow writers. They’re a place to exchange resources, share work, talk craft, and stay motivated. Your group members may see your work from start to finish and may even become lifelong companions on your writing journey.
Whether you’re looking for a group or thinking of starting one, it’s good to have an idea of the group’s core function. Here are seven different types of writing groups to get the juices flowing:
7 Types of Writing Groups
This group is centered on writing within a communal space. Members will largely be working on independent projects and the group may use optional prompts to kickstart writing. This is a great option if you find it motivating to write alongside other writers, do well with body-doubling, or are looking to establish a regular writing practice. This group may include time for sharing work.
Heavy on the prompts and light on the critique, this is a great option for writers looking for a steady tap of inspiration and a place to experiment with forms and style. Writing generated in this group can be the seeds for bigger projects down the line. This group may also include optional sharing, with the understanding that the writing is new and not workshop-ready.
Like writing practice groups, accountability groups are designed to help members keep up a consistent writing practice. The time is typically divided into writing time and time spent checking in and setting goals. There may be additional built-in accountability, like email or text check-ins between meetings.
Looking for constructive feedback on your work? This is the group for you! Many have an area of focus like genre or demographic. In general, reading and writing is done outside of meeting times so that the bulk of the meeting is dedicated to critique. You’ll be regularly reading work by other members and offering constructive notes, an editorial approach that greatly benefits your individual craft.
Social / Support
It’s fun to find people who share your interests and writers—we get each other! This kind of group shares resources and recommendations. They might attend events and classes together or have regular social gatherings to talk-shop and catch up. Though this group can be less structured, group members help each other stay connected to the world and craft of writing through shared enthusiasm.
Genre / Interest
Interest groups offer the opportunity to dive deep into a specific area. This is especially appealing for genre writers looking to get a better grasp of genre rules and craft. Operationally, this group can resemble any of the above but will include genre discussion.
While the most well-known challenges have grown into massive online groups, many of which are free to join, a challenge group can also consist of a few people holding each other accountable. (flip-flopped sentence order) Some groups you may be familiar with are NaNoWriMo for novels in November, NaPoWriMo for poetry in April, 12 x 12 for picture books, ChaBooCha for YA in March, StoryADay in May and September, and even 365-day writing challenges. Challenge groups are an excellent way to inject some high-octane excitement into your writing life, whether you’re maintaining or want to establish a regular writing practice! Especially recommended for writers with a competitive streak.
Get connected with other writers!
This list is by no means exhaustive. If there’s a type of writing group you have in mind, there’s a good chance other writers are looking for the same thing! The best way to find out is to create it.
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