Writing Group


#1

A number of people have spoken about a writing group in the past including @binkythebomb and @Eric_Steele I think. So I thought I’d start a thread and see if we can get a critical mass going to make it worth starting an event.

There are suggestions for starting a meetup in the wiki https://wiki.hackoldham.com/organising_meetups


#2

I’d be really interested in joining a writing group. Been writing for many years and it can be a lonely ol’ thing to do.


#3

Both myself and my girlfriend would be interested in joining a writing group.


#4

I would be very interested. Will take a look at the Wiki tonight.


#5

Looks like you have another interested party.

Ken from Saddleworth FM has been in-touch and is interested in getting involved. He’s away till the 10th of November but looks like it might be worth arranging a meeting sometime after that.

Anyone volunteering to take the lead and sort that out?


#6

So I’ve been discussing this with a few members over the last few months, along with getting some input from other sources on how to run/manage such a group and I think a list of activities and hard/fast rules needs to be drawn up before hand (having heard some horror stories from other event organisers, I think this is wise).

Below will be a few basic ‘common sense’ rules and advisories, but please feel free to chime in with anything else you guys may feel is needed or required.

Activities:
Practical writing tips and advice (Open Discussion).
Reading and Feedback (Group Activity, members critique each others work, will need some rules on just what counts as ‘critique’ however).
Book Club (If you are going to write, you’re going to read, and review what you’ve read (well, I do) so this could work out well as a group activity).

Rules:
Be respectful of other group members and their work.
Advice shall be given freely, and followed at the receivers whims.
No books or novella length work please, stories of 2000 words or there about’s ONLY (lets not have one person dominate the entire session shall we). Hard Cap at 3000 words with the organizers prior consent (via group chat or email so there is a record of it).
NO PORN OF ANY DESCRIPTION! (I can’t believe some places DIDN’T have this as a rule to start with.)
NO Snuff or extreme horror/gore. (Sword being thrust into someone = acceptable, watching a graphic scene as the entrails spill across the floor in a puddle or fresh ichor = NO!)
Public or group reading (read to the group out aloud) to be kept under 5 minutes. Anything longer than that and people tend to lose interest, much like a party political broadcast.
Ages 12 and over, although those under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

There’s more, but I’ll leave this here for everyone else to feedback and add to.

Also, DAYS TO GATHER!

I’ve been contemplating when is best to run the group for everyone. Weekdays are awkward for most people, but weekends tend to be ‘family/shopping time’ for others, so I’d be hoping to run this on a Saturday/Sunday, depending on feedback. Thoughts.


#7

Chatting with @Eric_Steele has brought up some other things for consideration.

"Some preliminary thoughts on a writing group based on my own experiences:

  1. Membership:
    Should it be limited or not?
    Do members require prior approval? (recommended). Age limit? (recommended if some stories are adult)

  2. Level: beginner, intermediate, pro? Or all? Open to all levels encourages more membership.

  3. Meetings: biweekly/monthly/weekly? Monthly is probably a good starting point to see how things take off.

  4. Running meetings:
    Dropbox is a good way to share files.
    Reading stories out in meetings wastes a lot of time and if you are not good at/comfortable with reading it can affect the quality of feedback.
    The Milford system works well.
    A chairperson is a must.

  5. Submissions:
    Should be limited in terms of both word count and the number of pieces each meeting. I have found that 3k words is best. Any longer and it crates too much work for readers.
    Novels/short stories/poetry
    -poetry can be hard to critique as it is so subjective.

  6. Location: quieter is better. The rpg night for instance would probably be too loud.

  7. Name: think of a name for the group that reflects the interest of the members, e.g. we were the Manchester Speculative Fiction Group. If you want just sci-fi/horror/fantasy make the name reflect this so you don’t have romance authors turning up etc.

  8. Advertising:
    You want people to find you. A Facebook page is a must. Twitter is doable, as is advertising in writing magazines (some let you do this for free).
    Happy to discuss any aspect of this. I was a member of a writing group for about 6 years so I saw them try lots of different methods, some of which worked, some didn’t. But there are certainly lots of people out there who are looking for something like this."


#8

I’m still interested in the group. Gas thete been any advancement with plans for it to get started?