Sarah Ann Hall

Reporting on writing in progress or, more probably, not.

Posts Tagged ‘writing group

Writers’ Groups – to join or not?

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On the advice and encouragement of Björn Rudberg I have recently been looking for a writing group to join. I need feedback on my writing to improve, and my last two attempts at attending short writing courses in order to achieve this were not successful. As I live on a boat and move around at least six-months of the year, attending meetings regularly in the same place has presented a problem. However, with improved planning and increased access to a car, I have been attending dance classes – something I want to do – so there is no excuse not to join a writers’ group – something I need to do.

I began my search earlier in the year by considering the area within which I generally cruise. This gave me the option of four towns, all of which I imagined might have a writing group. Town A, the largest and farthest away, has a large writing group with a waiting list, so that’s no use. Town B, the closest, has suggestions of a small writing group online, but its social media posts are three years old and contact details hard to find. Town C has a well-advertised group that meets once a week for two hours and a schedule that follows the school year. Town D’s group is relatively new and meets once a month for two hours. I contacted the coordinators of groups C and D and made arrangements to attend both. Unfortunately, work intervened and I didn’t get to Group C before the school holidays and the start of their summer break. However, earlier this month I cycled through a storm and managed to attend a meeting of Group D.

I was lucky to find the group receiving a talk from author Tessa Harris on how to write suspense. This is not something I do and it was interesting to have the technical differences between suspense and mystery writing explained. I was also pleasantly surprised at being able to perform under pressure, completing a five-minute exercise and coming up with something to share with the rest of the group. We all took turns to read out something created during the session and Tessa helpfully pointed out where we had taken on board her teaching. Constructive criticism was not forthcoming from other group members on this occasion, but I imagine it will be in future when the group meets to discuss topics of interest based on members’ current needs and interests. I will be going to my second meeting next month, to see what a usual meeting is like. I am minded to carry on and, depending how useful I find it, I might also try again with groups C and B to see what they have to offer.

 

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Written by Sarah Ann

July 30, 2017 at 6:43 pm

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