So after convincing you all of the benefits of belonging to a writing group – I’m pretty sure you’re now thinking – hey, how do I go about finding one?
In the first instance let me say something really idiotic.
The obvious way to get into a writing group is to set one up yourself (I did warn you) and that’s another whole article. But if you’re not a fan of admin and you want that writing group fully formed – where do you start?
One – Go old school and start prowling libraries, community centres and bookstores that have a public notice board (or an online public notice board.) It’s here people still put out the call for writers in the area to meet regularly. It’s easy to assume that everybody sets everything up online but that’s not necessarily true. Some people like face to face – I’m one of them!
Two – Poke about the websites of writers organisations such as the NZ Writers Guild, NZ Society of Authors, Playmarket and Micheal King Writers Centre among many others. Connecting with organisations is a great way to plug into the writing community and some writers organisations allow you to sign up to their newsletter without being a member. You might also want to run a small “looking for a writing group” advertisement in their newsletter – it won’t cost much – and you’ll be reaching out to hundreds of writerly folks. Don’t forget to check arts community focused websites like The Big Idea.
Three – Obviously google will offer up all manner of writers groups but save yourself some time and check out this comprehensive list: https://www.nzwriterscollege.co.nz/Writers+Resources/Writing+Circles+in+New+Zealand.html
I can’t vouch for how up to date the entries will be but this is a good place to start.
Four – Get onto Facebook.
There are loads of groups on Facebook – all with varying degrees of inclusivity. Like this one Auckland Writers – meets fortnightly at the museum – https://www.facebook.com/Auckland-Writers/1427060290883608
Some groups require that you request inclusion and others are more a support/interest group rather than a feedback group – so all you can really do is look at their description and check out how recent the last post was to see if they’re right for you. And of course the real benefit of belonging to a big FB writers support group is that within that group there’s bound to be some folks who live near you and want to create their own small feedback group.
Five – Without wishing to state the obvious – get online.
A website called meetup.com features a couple of writers groups that meet up including another called ‘Auckland Writers’ with 255 members and this one called ‘The Mt Eden Literature Meet-up for Lunatics’ appears to have 125 members. https://www.meetup.com/topics/writing/nz/auckland/ This site is a good place to set up your own writers group if that takes your fancy.
Internationally there are a ton of online forums for posting work for critique and they generally follow the same format which is you create a profile and upload your work which makes it available to other users to critique. This obviously requires a reasonably thick skin and a leap of faith that those critiquing have a clue. But most online forums have a pretty strict code of conduct.
These four are definitely up there with the most users and are pretty much solely devoted to sharing writing. And there are also numerous forums specifically for screenwriters.
Six – Run an item in my newsletter saying what type of group you’re looking for! It won’t cost you anything and your query will go out to over 700 people. Seeking a writing group or looking for members? Lemme know HERE.
Good hunting people!