Writers Group Wanted

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For a long time now I have been wanting to join a writers group. You know, have other writers read and critique my work and I’ll read and critique their work in return.

I found a site called Critique CircleΒ a while ago and it was great. I posted a short story on there and the people who gave me feedback were helpful and informative. However, the thrill of the site ended fairly quickly for me.

I wanted feedback on my stories and the way to do that was to earn credits. You need to earn credits by critiquing others. That’s fine; especially since you don’t want people on there posting story after story and never giving back to anyone else. It makes sense and I agree with that.

The thing is, it can be a long process. Some people are obviously more helpful than others and your story is only posted there for a week. Sometimes people don’t start critiquing it until there’s only one day left for it to be critiqued. In which case, you don’t get a good amount of people looking at your story.

I found another website (the name escapes me at the moment), but I didn’t even bother signing up. You need to pay. Um, no.

So, this is why I’m coming to you all of you guys out there:

–I want to join a writing group to meet other writers like myself
–I would like it to be online (due to my work/school schedule) where we can swap manuscripts and give them back to each other in a certain period of time
–It would be nice to have a small group of five or so people so we can all get to know each other and each other’s writing styles… but it would also be nice to have a large community to get other people’s opinions as well if needed

I know it seems like a lot to ask for and I probably sound extremely picky. I don’t know if any writing groups out there exist like that. I thought I would ask because Google hasn’t been helping on that front.

I’m also asking because, as stated, I’ve been wanting this for a while and my professor for my creative writing class last semester tried to get us to start one. I tried offering different ways we could set a group up, different websites we could use, etc. Three people replied saying, “Sounds good to me” or “Let me know the details and I’ll join.”

In other words, they didn’t seem enthusiastic about it. If they’re not enthusiastic about it, then how can I trust them to be committed and give me structured critique on my work?

So, if anyone knows any good writing group sites or would be willing to even start one up with me, that’d be awesome.

Thanks for the help in advance!

36 thoughts on “Writers Group Wanted

  1. I’ve recently started working with a site called Soho.com. https://www.zoho.com/
    I’ve been wanting to work on the collaboration application and this sounds like a great way to do it. If you’re interested, I’ll set it up and invite you in so we can test it. The biggest plus is that unlike Google Docs, they don’t require you to give up copyright on things you share in their apps.

  2. I wouldn’t mind being in a writers’ group, but I’ve been in quite a few during my career, and I’m at a point where I want to share with people who are not beginners. I’m okay with people who aren’t published yet, but if the people in the group are not “professional” (i.e., know the rules of grammar and are regularly creating solid works of fiction), then I end up being the teacher, and been there done that/ not going there again. So . . . if the group is serious, I’m in. If they are beginners who are not regularly writing, I’m not. (Sorry to sound so brusque!) On the bright side, I’m really good at critiquing in a positive fashion and would love to be part of a group that could do the same for me.

    • I know what you mean. I’ve never been a writing group before, but I know it can be beneficial with the right people. That’s why I want to try it out.

      My classmates in my creative writing class last semester tried starting one, but none of them seemed thrilled about it. They didn’t even want to help plan it; they just wanted me to tell them what to do and that was that. So I gave up. They didn’t seem to be too “serious” about their writing. Obviously, that’s not the right group of people to swap critiques with.

  3. I have been wanting to start a writers group myself. It would be great to connect with other writers. There are tons of sites that could be used to set one up. Even as far as setting up a facebook group. Hmm…now you have my mind spinning!

    • I have a few ideas on how to start one, but I didn’t know if there were any out there that I could join. If I can’t find anything, then I may take charge and start one… we’ll see, though. Thanks for the input!

  4. I used to be in a writing group a couple years back and I’ve missed it dearly since then. Especially the critiquing aspect of it, but also getting to read others’ works and offer insights to help them out.

    Like you, I’ve experienced some disappointment in the popular critique sites and don’t have anyone else around me who’s enthusiastic about (or even interested in) writing. I’d be so down to start an online writing group.

  5. I’m actually in a lovely international critique group – we’re based on Facebook, so that fulfils your “online” criteria. The only thing is, we meet every two weeks for meetings on Skype, and that’s where we give each other feedback on our work (which is posted beforehand in the FB group).

    It’s actually a pretty large group – I think we’re at around 20-30 people at the moment? – but I promise it’s not impersonal at all, and the writers there are incredibly talented.

    It’s invite-only, so please do let me know your Facebook URL if you’re interested and I’ll send an invitation over! πŸ™‚

  6. I’ve never been a part of one myself, and it’s long overdue that I join one, but I’ve also been looking for a writing group, or some sort of way of getting one together. Unfortunately, I haven’t found anything yet. You could always look for groups/group members on a large forum (NaNoWriMo, AbsoluteWrite, etc). I’ve also seen a website called Scribophile, and it’s free, but it’s a lot like Critique Circle so I don’t think it’s what your looking for. If you’re unsure about the people you’re bringing into a writing group, I’ve heard of others giving it a test run, where they exchange smaller portions of their writing to see if their styles and critique mesh well.

    If you’re looking for a website to start one, you could always try making a blog on WordPress? They can be made private, and you can authorize people to contribute to it. If people are posting shorter pieces of work they can just post it straight to the blog as well. It’s also one less log in to remember!

    If I find anything, I’ll keep you posted. And for the record, you don’t sound picky at all! There’s nothing wrong with looking for a group that suits your needs, otherwise you won’t get much out of it. =)

    • To be honest, I didn’t think of asking people on NaNoWriMo. I’ve heard of AbsoluteWrite and Scribophile, but never looked into them. Starting another blog is an interesting idea as well.

      Thanks for all the advice!

    • You’re not bombarding me at all! It’s really nice that you’ve kept me in mind. I’m on my phone right now, but I’ll definitely look at the link next time I get on the computer. Thanks so much!

  7. (Couple days late here, but…)

    If you’re interested in creating your own website, Weebly.com lets you create them for free. You can have multiple pages, forums, etc. I created one awhile back before decided to go “blog” instead. It’s a pretty good system, and easy to use. And you can sign up with your Facebook account if you want to.

    • Oh, Weebly… I forgot about that one. I’ve never used it myself, but one of my high school teachers used it to post homework and stuff. I’ll check it out. Thank you!

  8. Rachel, how did this work out? I have used CC for almost 1 year and, like you, I have seemed to outgrow it on occasion. At 1 chapter a week, a 40 chapter book takes almost a year to get through, and who can remember stuff from chapter one 39 weeks later? However, I have made some very helpful friends there who, after some sorting, became very good critique partners. Basically with 3 or 4 of them, I’m happy. The get through critiquing a story inside of a few months. Then I can send my MS to betas and seriously cut down on the lag time.

    • Ironically enough, my dad found an ad in the newspaper for a writer’s group starting up at my local library. I ended up joining that. We meet once a month. So, as you said, it’s kind of slow-going, but where my novel is at the moment it’s a perfect pace. I can always work one-on-one with the leader of the group if I ever want to kick it up a notch.
      I also started my own MS swapping site called Spilled Ink. It hasn’t really kicked off the ground yet, but my sister and I are working on it.
      I haven’t been on CC in a while. Time permitting, I may check back there once in a while; maybe post a short story up here or there.
      Also, where do you find betas? I’m not at that stage quite yet, but it has been on my mind.

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