Writing Groups by J.R.Biery

Blog Post 18

The first and third Saturday every month I meet at the Putnam County Library from 10 to 12 with other local writers. Have done it now for over thirty-six years. Okay, I admit it, I need a writer’s group. Before moving to Cookeville, I belonged to the Knoxville Chapter of National League of American Pen Women. And no, the ladies weren’t all paroled prisoners, they were women with professional credits in the arts. To join, you had to have three paid publishing credits, or juried art shows, or concert gigs, etc. A great group, no longer active, but they gave me the first boost of confidence to proclaim, ‘I am a writer.’

I love other writers. Maybe because when I’m at the meeting, I feel perfectly normal. They understand having an idea that gets you out of bed to write and will not leave you alone until you get it captured on paper. This morning we shared our projects, poems, novels, stories and one nonfiction essay. There were eight present from the thirty three currently active members. This group is about reading and critiquing. Most are published authors or writers, but some are just beginning. There is no requirement for membership other than an interest in writing and showing up. Although I’ve been given three copies of Robert’s Rules of Order, we don’t use them.

Each meeting, we read around the circle. When the reader finishes, one or all members present will provide positive, constructive feedback. We are a gentle group, but sometimes there is silence and you know you have to go home and rewrite it. If they love it, there is a lot more criticism, sometimes quite pointed, that helps with title, focus, marketing, and rewrites.  One of the ladies took home my latest manuscript to read and mark up. I can’t wait for her feedback, good or bad. Because I know she will be honest.

My recommendation to other writers. Find or start a local group of writers. Lovely way to find a few soul mates.

Here are more famous writers groups.

Russian group with Tolstoy, Checkov, Dostoevsky, etc.320px-Russian_Writers_1

Algonquin Round Table with Dorothy Parker, Harpo Marx, etc.




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