Writing Tips: Advantages Of Writer's Groups

All writers need help, support, and constructive criticism in order to develop their craft. Write groups are tools to learn from.

Every aspiring writer likes to hear how wonderful his or her work makes a reader feel. Each one wishes to touch a soul at least once with his or her words and gift of weaving those words together to form some kind of meaning. The problem with getting only positive feedback is that there is no promotion of growth for the writer. And, the writer is unaware of any problems his or her work may have that prevent him or her from becoming published.

Writer's groups are a rich resource for all writers. These collections of personalities that all share the same dream provide invaluable support and resources for any writer. If you are a writer and have not joined a group yet, it is time for you to think about doing so. A grammar and spell check function on a word processor can only do so much. Writer's groups will give you the constructive criticism and resource information you will need to get published.

There are two ways to become involved with writer's groups. Either in person or online. The question you may have is "How do I find these groups?" It is a lot easier than you may realize. In person groups are all around you. It's just a matter of knowing where to look.

You can start by going to your local library. The resource librarian will know how to help you begin looking if she or he doesn't know of a group personally already. Newspapers are a good place to check, also. Look in the want ads to see if there are any groups advertising for new members.

If you still can't find a group, check with your community center or the city hall to see if there are any groups registered using city buildings for their meetings. One other place you can check is with any local colleges or adult education classes. And, finally, if you have found no luck with any of these, start your own group. Advertise on community bulletin boards and grocery store bulletin boards. Use the newspaper if you can afford it. Just get one started.

Finding online groups is just as easy. Of course you can just go to any search engine and type in words like writer, author, groups, or whatever comes to mind to help you find any groups with websites. However, this could prove to be a long tedious search. It is best to find bulletin board and chat communities that host a variety of different topics oriented boards or rooms. Some of the places that have countless groups are:



Egroups

Topica

Yahoo! Clubs

These are just a few of the places that will have writer's groups. Egroups and Topica are great because they come straight to your email box and you can reply just by sending an email. With all three places you can start your own group if you wish.

The best ways to find writer's groups is to find bulletin board or chat communities and then look through the boards and rooms for ones that are geared towards writers. There are two other places on the web that can give you invaluable exposure and access to experienced and talented reviewers. Those places are:

Zoetrope

Themestream

There are bound to be even more if you take the time to research them. Keep in mind what you want to gain and contribute to a group. Read the group's guidelines before joining to make sure you are able to commit what is necessary. If you write a specific genre, try to keep away from groups who only want other genres. If you write only non-fiction, don't try to join groups that are geared for fiction writers.

Once you find a group, introduce yourself and have a sample of your work ready. Keep your introduction as brief as possible. Include personal stuff as well as any publishing credentials you may already have acquired. Also, include all the types of writing in which you are involved. This will give your group a good sense of who you are and give them insight into your writing, which will help them help you in a more effective way.

No matter where you find your writer's group, have fun with it and remember to take constructive criticism in the spirit in which it is given. It is a helpful tool that will guide you to a successful writing career.

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