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.
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.