Writers Need Other Writers

Every so often I receive a query about the availability of a writers’ group in my area of the state or elsewhere. I’m sure that there are many such groups out there, but I’m aware of only a few, so my ability to help is just about nil.

My main reason for launching the ArkansasWriters site several years ago was to provide a means of networking for Arkansas authors. Unfortunately, I’m not much good at marketing, so the listings I posted originally have not multiplied.

Different writers, different needs
Not every group is right for every writer. Some thrive in large groups, others in smaller ones. Some writers benefit from the technique of roundtable comments on cold readings. Others prefer to read typed submissions ahead of time.

Writers new to the idea of publishing have questions about manuscript preparation and query letters.

Veteran writers are past such elementary questions and prefer to spend meeting time on the close critiquing of manuscripts.

Some writers are open to both fiction and non-fiction. Others may wish to concentrate on a particular genre, such as fantasy fiction. Still others prefer to write and critique only children’s fiction, or poetry.

Whatever your needs, there is a group out there for you. Even if there isn’t a writers’ group near you, it’s a safe bet that there are other writers.

Tip: Writers tend to congregate at libraries and book stores.

Help each other out
I’d like to invite readers to post comments under this article that will help writers find one another.

If you belong to a group, give the name of your group, your region, and a brief description of the kind of group it is.

If you are a writer unaffiliated with a writers’ group, but are in search of kindred spirits, tell what area of the state you live in, the kind of writing you do, and where you stand on the publishing ladder.

If you can’t find an existing group in your part of the state, start your own.

Stop gap
In my view, there is no substitute for the intimacy of a group that meets in person over a period of years, growing together in the craft. However, membership in such a group may not be an option.

Thanks to the internet, virtual writers’ groups offer another possibility. Here is an online writers’ group that I’ve heard good things about:

Voices in Space: an online forum for those who want their voices heard, felt, analyzed. It is a democratic medium for the open exchange of all forms of literature and the commentary it inspires.

Maeve Maddox writes about English usage and public education at AmericanEnglishDoctor.com/. Her most recent publication is The Fabergé Flute, a cozy mystery novel set in 1980s London.

4 thoughts on “Writers Need Other Writers

  1. Dennis, you can get critiques for far less than that! Keep looking. I’ve researched getting a critique myself; didn’t end up doing it, but I think you could get something for under $300.00 for a piece of your work.

  2. Thanks, Maeve!
    I’m a writer living near Batesville, AR. Will be going to my first writers’ meeting on Sept. 20th in Batesville, but would like to connect with as many writers as possible. I’ve belonged to other writers’ groups, but not here in Arkansas. On the publication ladder – a few articles, letters to editor, etc. Currently working on two books – well, okay, three…

  3. I am new author (old person). I have self published my first book but of course do not have enough contacts to successfully market it.
    I don’t know if I am a good writer (self publishing companies aren’t candid). It is something I enjoy but need to adjust to be come good at it. I hold no drams of becoming a best selling author – I write fiction because I enjoy doing it. Is there some way within these writer groups that some one can read my work and give honest feedback. The self publishing company wants $3,000 for this service and being retired on Social Security that is beyond my discretionary spending capabilities.

  4. My name is Lisa Collins and I am the 2011 president of the White County Creative Writers. Our group meets on the third Monday night of each month at 6:30pm in Searcy, AR. Currently we are meeting at the Simmons bank on the corner of West Woodruff Ave. and Main Street. You can check us out on our website http://www.whitecountycreativewriters.org or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/White-County-Creative-Writers/193734560643357. If you need directions check out my Google map for writers groups in Searcy

    I am also a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, Arkansas branch. We meet at the administration building of the White County Library. You can get the full scoop on this club at acfwarkansas.com and our meetings at acfwarkansas.com/meet

    One last thing…I am the Municipal Liaison in Searcy for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), if you would like more information check out our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/White-County-NaNo/175326115815702. For the Searcy NaNoWriMo site go to http://www.nanowrimo.org/eng/node/3618093

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