Get Thee to a Writers Group

I have been writing, in one way or another, for more years than I care to count.  During that time, I’ve dabbled on the outskirts of writing communities: a workshop here and there; an editing group, online courses; once, a writing circle via mail.  But I had never found the opportunity to be involved with a writers group, partly due to my penchant for living away from metropolitan areas for much of my adult life.

I would read with envy about writers spending weeks at retreats, days working on communal projects, evening soirees with like-minded souls but, as a full-time worker living away from the cosmopolitan enclaves of the city writers, such opportunities were harder to come by.

As friends and regular readers would know, I always refer to myself as a late bloomer so it probably comes as no surprise that I am finally turning up [very late] to the table of a writers group. In fact I formed the group myself and waited nervously on that first night, trying to anticipate and imagine the people who’d indicated they’d come along, wondering how we would all fit together.

What a delightful bunch they turned out to be!

Our Stanthorpe Writers Group is a band of a dozen at the moment (with room to grow a little) and we are a mixed bunch with poets, journos, short-story writers, a historical novelist and memoirist amongst our numbers. 

We have had some wonderful presentations by group members on subjects as diverse as research, characterisation and flash fiction.  I learn something new at every monthly meeting and I get great enjoyment in critiquing work by other writers and having my own pieces picked over.  It improves our writing enormously to have input and suggestions from others.

So, to come back to my headline, if I had one piece of advise for young writers it would be to Get Thee to a Writers Group immediately and soak up the information, advice and friendship.

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11 Comments

Filed under Stanthorpe Writers Group

11 responses to “Get Thee to a Writers Group

  1. You are so right about this, Karen. I used to be a regular at the Mordialloc Writers Group under the capable and inspiring leadership of Mairi Neil. We all tend to think our pieces are terrific … until we read them out loud … and see the blank looks on other faces … and realise that we haven’t made oursleves clear at all!

  2. Even if you don’t share your writings so formally, a group of fellow writers you see regularly is still an amazingly good idea. I meet with a group that stayed together out of NaNoWriMo ’10 in Sydney and I love them all!

  3. annabelsmith

    You are so right Karenlee. When I first started writing and enrolled in an Honours in Writing at uni, at the end of the semester my tutor started a writing group with 5 the students and we met regularly to critique each other’s work. I learned an enormous amount through this process and when I moved to Melbourne I really missed it. Since being back in Perth I’ve been in a writing trio with Amanda Curtin and Robyn Mundy and their insight, feedback and support have made such a difference to my work.

    • I’m glad you are nestled back into a trio of fellow writers Annabel. You know, I’ve heard it said that we writers are self-centred and over-protective of our ideas and I always strongly disagree. Most of us just love good writing in its many forms and find joy in helping each other to be the best that we can be.

      • annabelsmith

        I think it’s true Karenlee. I’m always so proud of and happy for Amanda and Robyn when they achieve success – there is no rivalry between us.

  4. Karenlee, you’re inspiring! I’m the ABC Open producer for Southern Queensland and I’m always looking to tap into creative groups and celebrate the stories you generate. I reckon you might be interested in a new writing project we have: 500 Words. Short non-fiction around a monthly theme.

    https://open.abc.net.au/projects/500-words-caught-out-28dn4ay#/discover

    Drop me a line if you’d like to connect further. Or you can just make submissions through the website!

    Keep writing, you have such joy.

  5. Pingback: Journey to a Book: Part 2 |

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