Thinking of joining a writing group?


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I’m the type of person who would never have thought about joining a writing group. In real life I’m not very sociable so meeting and talking with other writers about all things writing would have been at the bottom of my list of things to do. It might not have even been on my list.

In 2010, I enrolled on the Open University’s Advanced Creative Writing course. An essential part of the course was a group forum, where students could post and critique each others work. I met an amazing group of writers and the support and camaraderie we had helped me get through to the end.

As we approached the last few weeks of the course a few of us decided to keep in touch. We created a forum where we could continue to post our work; let each other know about competitions and encourage some serious writing. Steel City Writers were born.

That was nine months ago and the group is still going strong. We try to meet once a month to chat about our writing. We use Twitter and the forum to encourage and support each other.

We decided to e-publish an anthology of short stories and poetry from the course (more on the e-book in a future post) and thought this writing blog might help others do the same.

Being around people who understand the writing process and who are going through the same issues, doubts and struggles as I am, helps enormously. We all share the same end goal and the encouragement helps me focus on my work.

So the decision to join the Steel City Writers was the right one for me. Without their support I might not have started my blog, joined Twitter or have the confidence and inspiration to complete my novel. Hopefully we can inspire a few others along the way.

If you get the opportunity to join a writing group, go for it. If you decide it’s not for you then at least you’ve given it a go. If it is for you then it might be the push you need to take your writing to the next level.

Thanks for reading and please leave us your thoughts on writing groups.

Author: Pete Denton

About Pete Denton

I'm a writer working my way through the redrafts of a British crime novel. I also write short stories, flash fiction and some screen writing. Check out my blog for more.
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8 Responses to Thinking of joining a writing group?

  1. The success or otherwise of any such group depends totally on the people in it – that sounds an obvious thing to say, but if you get even just one person who thinks they know it all, or that their opinion carries more weight than anyone else’s, then it can ruin it for everybody. It sounds like you have got a really good supportive group here and that’s great. I’ve done a couple of Open University courses too, and agree that active participation in the forum is vital to keep you motivated and avoid that feeling of isolation.

    • Pete Denton says:

      Thanks, Vanessa. We are all trying to achieve the same goals and are very supportive of each other so I think it works for us. I’ve heard some horror stories for other people so consider us a fortunate bunch 🙂

  2. robincoyle says:

    You have inspired me to find a writing group. Thanks!

  3. Pete, Congratulations on this extended learning venture. I would like to listen in for awhile to see how it develops. Having a shared experrience and respect could be the key, you think?

    • Pete Denton says:

      I think that is the key. We’ve all been through the same journey even though we’re at different stages along the route. Any time you can talk to other writers about the process and problems/issues you have ease that pain a little. I always feel invigorated after our get togethers.

  4. Tom B says:

    A little over two years ago I was in a writing course given by the local community college. I’ve been writing for some time, but this course was a lot of fun and I learned a lot, too. Most of the other students felt the same and we banded together at the end of the course. Oh, is any of this starting to sound familiar? Anyway, we’re still meeting every two weeks and although nobody has sold anything yet we’re all working on novels or short stories. After seeing this I’m going to see if I can talk the group into doing a blog of our own! I was thinking about doing one myself anyone. Congrats, Steel City Writers, and good luck!

    • Pete Denton says:

      Thanks for stopping by, Tom. The blog seemed like the natural extension of the group and we hoped to help others by sharing our experiences. Good luck with the blog and let us know how you get on.

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