How to set up a Writing Group that works

Gwyneth Box, Poet, translator, lifestyle journalist

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15 Videos (1h 34m)
    • Welcome

      3:11
    • Introduction

      2:35
    • Writers’ groups – some observations and background

      5:21
    • Introduction to organisational elements

      1:36
    • Communications

      7:53
    • The venue

      6:25
    • Timings: schedule, meeting duration & frequency, punctuality & attendance

      10:27
    • Introduction to membership

      2:08
    • Who are the group members?

      8:35
    • What do your members write?

      9:19
    • Why focus on criticism

      5:41
    • Organisation of feedback

      12:53
    • Criticism: best practice

      14:31
    • What’s next?

      2:11
    • Writing in Circles

      1:16

About This Class

Writing can be a lonely activity and one of the best things a writer can do, both to combat this isolation and to help with the development and improvement of their writing, is to join a writing group.

But there are many different types of group, with different aims and activities, and there are a lot of potential problems and pitfalls along the way for anyone who decides to set up a new group.

This course is based on my own experience over several decades of belonging to a number of different writing groups, both as organiser and as rank-and-file member. It is intended to give an idea of the range of group formats and focus, to help you avoid the main pitfalls of organisation and admin, and, above all, to make sure that the group you set up meets your needs as a writer.

During the course, we will take a look at a range of group activities, with particular emphasis on sharing work and giving and receiving feedback.

Wherever you are in your writing career, belonging to a writing group can be beneficial: whether you use it to share your own work, collaborate with others, hone your editorial skills, share market information, or simply as a social group, a good group will foster an atmosphere of mutual assistance and allow all the members to improve as writers.

Not all writing groups are the same and it’s important to find one – or to create one – that works for you.

NOTE: In addition to the course video lectures, the bonus class includes a downloadable PDF of my book "Writing in Circles: a writers' group handbook", described by one Amazon reviewer as “a valuable resource for organisers and members of writing groups” that gives “sound advice with humour and an abundance of goodwill.” 

The book includes some of the material covered in the course as well as additional material that looks more specifically at group activities and also at the critique process.

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Gwyneth Box

Poet, translator, lifestyle journalist

Award-winning poet, writer, translator and businesswoman, with a career spanning IT, teaching, design and publishing, Gwyneth specialises in copy writing and transcreation, particularly in the fields of lifestyle, travel and technology.

As joint owner of the UK design agency Tantamount, Gwyneth works with businesses, educators and freelance creatives on projects that draw together the threads of publishing, design, technology and t...

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