Starting A Writing Workshop

Starting your own writing workshop and gaining fellowship, focus, and skills.

If you are a writer, you may feel isolated in this world. Many writers are isolated just by the nature of your job. It can really help to have fellowship with your fellow workers: it boosts morale and sharpens your focus and skills. The best way to keep in contact with other writers and hone your skills at the same time is to attend a writer's workshop. Writer's workshops usually meet every week or two and the writer's will bring samples of their work to be critiqued by other writers. In some places there are organizations which coordinate these groups, but if there isn't one in your area, why not start your own?

A writer's workshop can be held anywhere, the local library, someone's home, a local church, anywhere will do, all you need is a table and some chairs. If you are coordinating your own group, choose your place first, then garner interest. You can place ads at your local bookstores, grocery stores, libraries, anywhere that has a bulletin board or window. Writer's are everywhere and they will come out if you call them!

Decide on your venue. Perhaps you will only work on poetry, fiction, non-fiction, etc. Whatever it is, make sure it is clear from the beginning and add new groups if necessary. Some local newspapers will even put a free ad in for you if it is listed as a community event and it is easier to gather interest for your group if it is more specified. Decide how often you will get together and what the routine will be. You can take turns having a guest speaker or hold different themed writing exercises to stimulate your group.

If you don't have resources to form a group in your area, try starting one online. You can hold writing workshops in chat rooms on the Internet or through e-mail lists which you can set up and moderate easily. These groups can get quite large and you may even have to set limits on your number of members or screen your members. E-mail lists are great for submitting work to everyone at the same time so that the whole group can take a look at the piece and have time to give it a good critique. You can also post bulletins of writing opportunities and projects on these lists. Whether your group is online or in person, the writer's group is a great way to meet other writers and you will all feel a bit less isolated and be working on your craft at the same time!

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