In September 2011, I vowed to join a writers group to help me get serious about the business of writing and finish my book. Finding no groups near me, I started one. I named it “The Mitchellville (Bowie) Writers Group.” And I used the Meetup.com social platform because it was established and provided easy management tools.
Five years and 100 meet ups later, my group is still going strong. We had a great anniversary-themed meet up last night. A few of the folks who moved on came back to celebrate the occasion with us.
My writers’ group has gone from five passionate writers (my husband, author JM Brown, author RJ Crayton, author Michelle Arnold, and me) to 206 members today. I’m proud to say that the core original members remain active with the group. I’m also proud of all the diversity that transpired all on it’s own.
Here’s a picture of us, the “best writers’ group in the world.” Seriously, there’s a lot of talent and experience pictured below.
In the meantime, here are a few thoughts:
1) If you can’t find a local writers group, start your own. Rest assured, the writers will come. And don’t get discouraged if the writers join your group more slowly than you’d like. A group of 10 to 14 people is ideal.
2) Find a location that’s free or inexpensive to meet. I’m surprised that a lot of libraries charge for meeting space. I was fortunate to discover a grocery store in my neighborhood that has a free and open cafe area.
3) Establish ground rules. You’ll need structure and critique guidelines to keep everyone in your group on track. People tend to want to develop their own agendas from time to time. 🙂
Have immediate questions about how to start a writers’ group? Talk to me on email, Facebook, or Twitter!