As a writer starting out, I was often hesitant of the idea of joining a writer’s group. After all, my stories were my babies and the idea of sharing them with a peer group tended to leave me with these feelings of dread. But what are writer’s groups really about? As the name implies, a writer’s group is a group of likeminded writers who gather together perhaps once a week to once a month in order to share and critique each other’s work. Writer’s groups are an essential tool in the development and refinement of a person’s writing skills.
Writer’s groups contain four essential benefits that you normally wouldn’t have on your own.
1) Constructive feedback for your writing.
2) The chance to offer your own feedback on another person’s work.
3) Great ‘group thinking’ sessions if you’re stuck for writing ideas.
The participants in writer’s groups are keenly interested in improving their writing skills and offering their wisdom to others, and they’re often made up of people who write (and read) across a broad range of genres. The Blue Mountains is no stranger to writer’s groups. Whether it’s the landscape or the community, writers from all areas are attracted to our little piece of paradise, and we at the library have jumped on board in contributing toward the development of four different writer’s groups so far. Each group contains its own specialty or dynamic ranging from critique to children’s writing and poetry. Katoomba Library serves as home for many of these group sessions, so if you’re interested finding out more or putting your name down on a group list (they’re filling up fast), then why not pop in and have a chat to one of our lovely staff.
Question for the readers: What experiences have you had with Writer’s Groups? Feel free to share your experiences below.
I’m part of a small group which meets fortnightly in Wentworth Falls. In addition to the benefits in the article, I find one of the main attractions to be the deadline (!) – which means that I produce a finished piece of work each week. We’ve also found that we’re starting to read our own work more critically – imagining the review of our peers even before we share our work. On the occasion that we’ve each written a story from the same prompt we’re happily surprised by the diversity of the results. If you’re lucky enough to be part of a group where everyone is prepared to give and receive feedback, then the writing group is a great addition to a writer’s life.
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Thanks for your input, Diane. We held our first prompt based group session here in Katoomba and I must agree, same topic and so many different approaches. Your group sounds fantastic! 🙂