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On The Table Read, “the best creativity magazine in the UK“, find out about writing communities, how they work, and how to set up and run a writing community.
Writing communities help writers to build and improve their writing skills. Writing is a difficult craft that often results in writer’s block – something that 70% of student writers say they always experience. Over the past couple of years, online writing communities have grown in popularity as more and more people used the opportunity of having to stay at home to write.
But now that restrictions have been lifted, in-person writing communities can recommence. Here’s how to set up your own one.
Decide who to invite and advertise
A whole host of British writers, including William Sutcliffe, Linda Grant, and Jon Courtenay Grimwood have come forward detailing how difficult they’ve found writing in recent years. This shows that no matter whether you’ve got multiple published books under your belt or are a novice, writing is hard. One of the first things you must consider when setting up your writing community is who to invite.
Inviting writers at different stages of their careers and from different walks of life is a good idea as you’ll get lots of feedback, insider knowledge, and experience from them. Get people interested by advertising on social media, or at your local library, community centre, and nearby shops.
Find the right venue
The venue for your writing community is important. It needs to be accessible to all and in a good, central location. Libraries can be good venues, as the Scottish writers’ group the Mackintosh Group of Writers has found out. They’ve recently teamed up with Helensburgh Library to host a selection of ‘An Evening with…’ events.
If you or a member of your writing community lives in a Homeowner’s Association (HOA). The onsite amenities and annual fees may include access to a communal room that can be used free of charge. The purpose of an HOA is to serve the community’s common interests, so a group of writers will certainly qualify for use of such a room.
Set clear expectations
As the one that launched the writing community and invited others along, your fellow writers are likely to see you as their leader. Make sure you’re comfortable with this role and the associated responsibility, otherwise, assign the task to a fellow writer who’s happy to do the job.
A successful writing community will have clear goals. You need to decide how often you’ll meet up, what you’ll read, and the expectations from each member. For example, if you hold weekly meetings, you could all read one member’s work per week and then give your feedback at the next meeting. It’s important that you’re all able to adapt too. As a writer, you’ll know that things such as writer’s block and writing deadlines can stop people from being able to commit to meetings.
Writing communities are an invaluable resource for writers. They’ll help you develop your craft, become a better writer, and support you through the highs and lows of writing. So, why not start one today and see how much your writing benefits?
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