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What do you look for in a writing group?






What do you look for in a writing group?


If you've some experience of writing groups, good or bad, I'd appreciate your input.

Poll #1841662 Writing groups

Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of a writing group

Yes
36(94.7%)
No
2(5.3%)

If 'Yes', why did you hope to gain from joining?

I wanted to get critique/feedback on my own writing
30(33.7%)
workshops/presentations on writing-related subjects
10(11.2%)
Critique groups with other writers in my genre
22(24.7%)
Networking
23(25.8%)
Something else, which I'll explain in the comments
4(4.5%)

If 'No', is there a particular reason why not?

Yes
1(25.0%)
No
2(50.0%)
Something else, which I'll explain in the comments
1(25.0%)

When you attended your first few meetings with the group, was there something which made a big impression (good or bad)?

Yes
16(47.1%)
No
14(41.2%)
If 'Yes' please explain in a comment
4(11.8%)

What would make you leave a writing group?

Not a good fit for me/my writing
29(19.0%)
Membership fees too expensive
18(11.8%)
Too far away
18(11.8%)
Uncomfortable atmosphere
29(19.0%)
Unfriendly atmosphere
29(19.0%)
Too few members
9(5.9%)
Too many members
12(7.8%)
Something else, which I'll explain in the comments
9(5.9%)


If there's something not covered in the poll, please feel free to leave a comment anyway. I'm particularly interested in things which made a big impression on you, either in a good or bad way.


Related posts:
What would put you off from joining/staying with a writing group?

The Critiquee's Charter


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Comments

Sue Wentz
May. 21st, 2012 04:01 pm (UTC)
I've been in three writing groups; two local and one regional. I left the local ones after several years and two terms as the president of one of them, and will probably not renew my membership with the next when it comes due.

On the local level, I found three problems that I finally couldn't ignore anymore. The first was that the meetings seemed to deteriorate into gossip and chit-chat sessions, making them run way too long with very little productivity. This wasn't helped by members completely ignoring the ten minute limit we'd set on reading. When fifteen people showed up, it turned into an endurance test.

The second issue was that because so many members tended to be ultra-sensitive to critique, it was decided that only positive and encouraging comments would be allowed. That made it pretty pointless for my purposes. As nice as it is to know what I'm doing right, I really need to know what I might be doing wrong.

The last issue was that I felt that my work really had nothing in common with what everyone else was doing. I was a fiction author in a sea of reminiscence writers. The first meeting I attended I read a chapter that involved a protagonist contemplating suicide. One of the members very seriously suggested I get counseling. (In retrospect, I take that as a compliment.) I also found myself slapping temporary patch-edits on my work to avoid offending the more elderly/conservative people in the groups.

What I've settled on for now is a small group of solid writers and perceptive readers who aren't afraid to give or receive constructive feedback. Most of them are online and I do miss some of the social aspect of meetings, but I do seem to get much more accomplished this way.

Sue
jongibbs
May. 21st, 2012 04:26 pm (UTC)
Sounds like you've got yourself a good critique group there, Sue. I know what you mean about meetings deteriorating into chit-chat sessions etc. It's certainly something I'd seek to avoid.

Thanks for the input :)

Things What I Wrote and Other Stuff

No longer in print but there are still some copies floating around out there


No longer in print but there are still some copies floating around out there















 











THE MEAGER PUDDLE OF LIMELIGHT AWARDS


Books by my writer friends - compressed

NJ Writing groups - compressed

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