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Ibelong
05-14-2010, 01:11 AM
I've been unsuccessful in finding a writing group that meets in my area (north east GA) and has people who are familiar with the urban fantasy genre. There is one group that meets local to me, but they all seem to be into poetry and "historical ghost stories". So needless to say, odd man out is an understatement.
Anyhow...I've used the meet up forums without a lot of success. Anyone have any other ideas? Thanks

veinglory
05-14-2010, 01:20 AM
You can use meetup to start your own group. I did that and 140 meetings later we are still going (http://www.meetup.com/writers-731/). But actually every one of us writes a different genre--it still seems to work out fine.

Linda Adams
05-14-2010, 01:47 AM
Have you tried the Georgia Writers Association (http://georgiawriters.org/)? Sometimes the regional writing organizations have their own critique groups. You may also be able to start one, with the organization helping to promote it. Though it's very likely you'll have to settle for a mix of authors. I started a group for thriller and ended up being the only one actually writing one. We had people writing a literary novel, essays, mysteries, and the Great American novel.

dgiharris
05-14-2010, 02:59 AM
If you are to start up your own writing group, here are some suggestions.

Usually, Borders, Barnes and Nobles, or a local library has no problems hosting and they will often advertise for you by putting your writing group in their calendar of events.

Pick a convenient time, i've found the 7:30pm - 9:30pm on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday seems to be the universal best time to host a writer's group as it accomodates most people's work schedule.

Print up fliers and distribute around town: namely bookstores, libraries, and college campuses (most places have no problems letting you advertise your writing group).

Format wise, most writing groups i've belonged to start off with 5 - 10 minutes worth of quick writing exercises where we'd write to prompts, then afterwards we'd read what we wrote from the prompts. Once that was done we'd move on to critique works people brought in but usually limiting that to a few pages each.

Another route that worked well for smaller groups was bringing in longer works that we'd read/critique on our own time and then came to the group ready to discuss.

There are lots of writing prompts available on the internet, do a quick google search.

After a couple of weeks, you usually have enough people to keep a group going indefinitely.

You can also advertise (for free) on Craigslist.

I've found that as long as you live in a town of 50 thousand or more, getting a writer's group going is no problem and easier than you'd think.

You may even be able to contact nanowrimo and ask them to send out an email invite to writer's in your area.

Anyways, good luck

Mel...

DeleyanLee
05-14-2010, 03:11 AM
The thing I've found the most important thing when joining or starting a writing group is to know what it is you really want from it.

My experience is that there's four things writers generally want from a group: Critique, discussion, brainstorming and social/support.

Most groups will have a focus on one but touch on all of them. It could take several meetings to figure it out since most groups are unconscious about what it is they're really doing (it's always surprising to me how many groups don't know). Make sure that you mesh or you'll be disappointed, discouraged and possibly depressed if it doesn't work out.

Good luck.

Eva Lefoy
09-08-2011, 07:53 AM
Well, to resurrect a long-dead thread, what do you do when there's mutiny?

I'm in a writing group that's about 3 years old. The newest and youngest member's somewhat overly defensive posture is making the others shrink away - in fact, it's a mutiny!

So, what do you do? Have a splinter group? Ask her to leave? Keep going?

Do all writer's groups blow up at the 3 year mark? Maybe this is just normal?

Thanks,

Jarrah

rainsmom
09-08-2011, 07:28 PM
Ask the offending member to leave. Talk to the other members first, and if there's no clear group leader, do it as a group. It won't be fun. Don't drag it out. Don't place blame. Just end it. "This isn't working out. We'd like you to find a different group."

Otherwise, the group will die.

quicklime
09-08-2011, 08:16 PM
Ask the offending member to leave. Talk to the other members first, and if there's no clear group leader, do it as a group. It won't be fun. Don't drag it out. Don't place blame. Just end it. "This isn't working out. We'd like you to find a different group."

Otherwise, the group will die.

or, at least first have a chat informing them that this will be the next step.



the optimist in me says she should be warned, and maybe she'll learn from it, the realist says you're probably best to just bite the bullet and kick her out.

jeffo20
09-08-2011, 09:23 PM
I agree with Quick on this one. My first thought is to give her a chance to fix her behavior. She may not be aware of how she's acting, or how it's seen by the rest of the group. If she doesn't improve, giver her the boot.

pyrosama
09-08-2011, 10:30 PM
I would say give her a chance. You might start out your next meeting with an exercise. Each person should tell what they feel is most productive in the critiques and what they feel is least productive. Take notes. Then when you critique the person, you know which direction to go. You don't have to critique everyone the same. Every writer is a different breed. We are artists, not conformists. :)

quicklime
09-08-2011, 10:52 PM
I would say give her a chance. You might start out your next meeting with an exercise. Each person should tell what they feel is most productive in the critiques and what they feel is least productive. Take notes. Then when you critique the person, you know which direction to go. You don't have to critique everyone the same. Every writer is a different breed. We are artists, not conformists. :)


OR explain that this is HOW you crit, and if that is a problem you aren't interested in working with her. You certainly don't have to crit everyone the same, but for me specifically, I have certain skill sets and not always others--I am fairly good at making a point and cutting things, not so good at encouragement--I make a horrible fluffer. I also tend to ignore anyone who wants help and specifies what they want, if it differs from what I offer--this seems utterly reasonable to me, we're incompatible.

pyrosama
09-08-2011, 11:12 PM
I am fairly good at making a point and cutting things, not so good at encouragement--I make a horrible fluffer.

Can completely relate here. There's a lady in my group who is an Editor and she's really good at cleanup and picking out the errors in grammar. I tend not to critique others in the group on those things when I find them, because I know she's got that covered already.

Eva Lefoy
09-09-2011, 01:08 AM
This gal is also very young - she's 23 - and the average age of the rest of the member is about 40. So there's an age/maturity difference at work here as well, I think.

The gal who runs the group is not up to just kicking her out, so for now, I guess we will have two distinct groups - one with her and one w/out. So now I get to go to two meetings a month!

Doh! <--- extra work not needed

Eva Lefoy
09-09-2011, 01:09 AM
I would say give her a chance. You might start out your next meeting with an exercise. Each person should tell what they feel is most productive in the critiques and what they feel is least productive. Take notes. Then when you critique the person, you know which direction to go. You don't have to critique everyone the same. Every writer is a different breed. We are artists, not conformists. :)

Well, that is hoping that somebody comes to the meeting... so far, half have voted to leave :(

Eva Lefoy
09-09-2011, 01:10 AM
It won't be fun. Don't drag it out. Don't place blame. Just end it. "This isn't working out. We'd like you to find a different group."

Otherwise, the group will die.


That worries me - that the group might die. Sigh. It's been going for 3 years now. People have left - moved to Texas, or gotten involved in running city politics - but we have never told anybody to leave. Sheesh!

Still, it would probably be for the best.

quicklime
09-09-2011, 02:39 AM
well, as I said, you have the option of an "intervention", which you seem to be leapfrogging. You know the situation better than I do; maybe there is a good reason, but if not, it is worth considering the slightly less nuclear option....

Tirjasdyn
09-09-2011, 08:40 PM
Well, to resurrect a long-dead thread, what do you do when there's mutiny?

I'm in a writing group that's about 3 years old. The newest and youngest member's somewhat overly defensive posture is making the others shrink away - in fact, it's a mutiny!

So, what do you do? Have a splinter group? Ask her to leave? Keep going?

Do all writer's groups blow up at the 3 year mark? Maybe this is just normal?

Thanks,

Jarrah

Our group has been going for three years. We had to change how things were done to avoid this situation.

Besides screening for new members, we have agreed to put to ask members to leave if: they don't find critiques helpful, if they are not contributing to the group. We are still trying to figure out the best way to deal with it.

Eva Lefoy
09-10-2011, 07:27 AM
You know the really sh*tty thing about this is that 1) the other four members who don't want her in the group anymore aren't 2) forthright enough to say anything to her face. Instead, they complain and threaten and whine to 3) my friend and I, who are now tasked with ousting her.

Sigh. Can adults just be adults some day? I mean, I may have to wait another 20 years for this one gal to grow up, but these people who want to oust her are already "mature" so to speak.

So why do I feel like I'm back in high school?

AlwaysJuly
09-10-2011, 07:14 PM
I'm surprised *she* doesn't notice this isn't working out, but some people are dense, I guess. Not every writer is a good fit for every writing group, and that doens't necessarily mean anything (IMO). I might be biased on that, though, as I've tried a writing group and realized we were not going to jive.

I don't know, I like the idea of discussing how to crit within that group, but it sounds like the other members are ready to leave if she doesn't anyway.

Tirjasdyn
09-11-2011, 07:23 AM
You know the really sh*tty thing about this is that 1) the other four members who don't want her in the group anymore aren't 2) forthright enough to say anything to her face. Instead, they complain and threaten and whine to 3) my friend and I, who are now tasked with ousting her.

Sigh. Can adults just be adults some day? I mean, I may have to wait another 20 years for this one gal to grow up, but these people who want to oust her are already "mature" so to speak.

So why do I feel like I'm back in high school?

You need a designated a*****le. I think I was designated to this position in my group after recent similar events. When a group wants a member to leave, the a****le sends the letter, tells the person etc.

I say I think because I volunteered after we came to this decision and everyone said okay lol :D kind of lol

Eva Lefoy
09-13-2011, 03:43 AM
Well, after we put the Sept. group meeting on hold - and the person has no idea why - I sent this message to the naysayers, who I am not very pleased with at the moment:

And here's the point where those in the group that have said they want
xyz OUT of the group need to step up to the plate and send an email
stating what they think needs to be done in the group --- and NOT leave it
all to zw to go listen to her tears when she tells her the rest of the
group has vetoed her membership.

Come on folks let's be adults here. If you're threatening to leave or
unhappy being in the group because of xyz just say so - but use your own
voice to do it.

--- maybe that will get people to make some concessions towards everyone getting along.

I hope.

Either that, or it will piss everybody off! *shrugs* whatever!

DeleyanLee
09-13-2011, 04:21 AM
So why do I feel like I'm back in high school?

Because many people refuse to stop playing those kinds of petty, passive-aggressive politics--which is what it sounds like is happening in your group.

Hope your email gets positive reaction.

The dynamics of any group will change with the addition or loss of a single member. That's one of the reasons why it's very important to get a good gist of anyone new before membership is granted--and sometimes that can take months, if not a full year. And asking a destructive force to leave is only group self-preservation.

Unless, of course, this is just an excuse for some members who want out of the group entirely but don't want the confrontation.

Hope things work out for the best.

Eva Lefoy
09-13-2011, 07:00 PM
Right now everybody's back-pedaling.

Sigh.

Eva Lefoy
09-13-2011, 07:00 PM
You need a designated a*****le.

I didn't ask for the anal probe! LOL