Friday Fun is a group post from the writers of the NHWN blog. Each week, we’ll pose and answer a different, writing-related question. We hope you’ll join in by providing your answer in the comments.
QUESTION: Do you belong to a writers’ group? Any organizations? What are the benefits you have found? Any drawbacks?
Deborah Lee Luskin: In addition to the New Hampshire Writers’ Network, which produces this blog, I belong to the Vermont League of Writers, though I don’t make it to their quarterly meetings as often as I’d like. I also belong to a local writer’s organization, Write Action, based in Brattleboro, Vermont. And as I’ve written in a post here, I’ve benefited greatly from belonging to groups where we gather to write.
Jamie Lee Wallace: I have participated in a few writing classes (online and in the real world) – mostly of a creative, stretch your writing muscles type. I have also been a member of a critique group, which I wound up leaving because I wasn’t really ready to be critiqued (though I wrote pieces for the meetings, I was – and still am – in the research and planning stage). I don’t belong to any professional organizations (other than this blog), but I intend to join Grub Street Writers – a Boston-based organization whose mission is “to be an innovative, rigorous, and welcoming community for writers who together create their best work, find audience, and elevate the literary arts for all.” They have an annual conference that I missed this year, but definitely plan to attend next year!
Julie Hennrikus: I belong to Sisters in Crime (national) and Sisters in Crime New England. I also belong to a subset of SinC called the Guppies, which stands for the great unpublished. These are all groups for mystery writers. I am also a member of Grub Street, and have taken a few classes with them. There are meetings of the SinCNE, but the rest of these groups meet online (unless we plan meetups at conventions, which happens.) I have tried a couple of writers’ groups but for one reason or another they haven’t worked for me. I do know many writers who benefit greatly from them, and perhaps will find one that clicks at some point.
Susan Nye: Other than NH Writers Network I am not currently a member of any professional organizations. I was recently contacted by another food writer/blogger about starting a NH Food Bloggers group. I’m looking forward to meeting with her after the summer. I was a member of the New Hampshire Writers’ Project and have attended their conference and one of their networking meetings. Both were valuable experiences and I will attend again in the future.
Wendy Thomas: I belong to this group, as well as, a writers’ goal setting group (one of the most powerful tools in my writing toolbox IMHO). Coincidentally this weekend I’ll be leaving for a self organized writers’ retreat with 2 friends from that goals group. That will be the first time I’ve tried anything like that (and hopefully not the last.) I’ve taken many online courses (back in the day when Barnes and Nobles had them online for free) and read tons of “how to” books on writing. I don’t go to meetings (conventions) but it is my goal to make it to at least one by the end of this year.
To be perfectly honest, I tend to stay away from groups. Too often people are at a different place or stage than I am and I often get frustrated. I tend to work best with a small group of like minded writers with whom I can bounce ideas around.
Lisa Jackson: I belong to Sisters in Crime (a national group for mystery authors, where I’m part of the membership committee) and Sisters in Crime New England (where I’m into my second year as treasurer). I’m a former member of the New Hampshire Writers’ Project (I was their book review coordinator for a number of years) and attended their annual conference a few times. I find the more I’m involved in volunteering in an organization, the more I get out of it. I also belong to a small critique group which is weekly inspiration to keep me writing.