Writers’ Groups

Writing is a solitary pastime. I don’t mind that. Just as I love to lose myself in a novel, I also like to disappear into worlds of my own making. But on our own, we writers are more vulnerable to discouragment, writers’ block and general staleness.

A solution I heartily recommend would be to join a writers’ group. I belong to several and get different things from each of them. If there isn’t one in your area, start one. That’s what Beverly Ward did in 2006 in Holmfirth Library. Bev’s since moved away but the group has continued to grow from strength to strength.

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As well as the encouragement, workshops, manuscript critique and networking common to most groups, Holmfirth Writers’ Group is full of different talents and buzzes with can-do attitudes. So far we’ve produced two anthologies, edited by poet James Nash, Reflections of Holme and Pennine Reflections, with more in the pipeline.

ImageWe take part in the Holmfirth Arts Festival in a different way each year. This provides creative challenges, which push us out of our comfort zone, and new experiences to add to our author CVs, important when submitting your work to publishers.

Our library is brilliant. In addition to tea and coffee each week, they provide a venue and promotion for our books, meetings and events. It doesn’t do the library any harm, either, in these days of cuts and threatened closures.

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A Life Less Lost

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Once Removed

We also support, and are supported by, our local radio station http://www.twovalleysradio.co.uk/ and their sister station in Leeds http://www.elfm.co.uk/. Two Valleys Radio give us a regular slot to read our poems, short stories and excerpts from our novels. They include us in wider events and host our radio plays. They have interviewed me about my memoir, A Life Less Lost, and my debut novel, Once Removed, an extract of which can be heard on their listen again facility.

If they did nothing else but make me laugh and stretch my creative muscles, I’d still say it was worth joining a group.

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12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Cathie Dunn
    Jul 09, 2012 @ 09:41:42

    Sound advice, Kimm. Writers can easily feel isolated, so having peer feedback and being able to exchange views, plot points and suggestions is vital.

    A few years ago, I joined a Writers Group up here but found we didn’t ‘click’. When I watched grown men recoil from my excerpt from a battle scene (nothing graphic), I knew I was in the wrong place. Their comments were that they hadn’t expected a woman to write medieval battle scenes. Well, welcome to the 21st century!

    I’m a member of several online groups, authors who know my genres and can pinpoint specific areas in my WIPs that require work. Their advice and assistance over the years has been invaluable. Though, one day I’d love to start a local writers’ group. Perhaps I should look into starting an RNA chapter here.

    Thanks for a great post.

    Reply

    • kimmwalker
      Jul 09, 2012 @ 14:12:54

      Thanks for your reply, Cathie, you make some good points. Every group is different and I’ve walked away from a couple, too. Would you fancy submitting a follow-up post on some of the online groups you belong to?

      Reply

  2. yasminselena
    Jul 09, 2012 @ 10:54:22

    Your group sounds great and so proactive! I am so impressed at how many fingers in pies you have. It never crossed my mind to tie things in with local radio like that.

    My writing group in Hayes, Middlesex is called Let’s Write, it’s run by a girl called Jaspreet Bamra. In fact I should be there right now, but I have to get Gunshot Glitter to my proof reader ( must get cracking!), but I am so grateful to Jaspreet for making it happen as I was going kind of crazy here as nothing was in place culturally and I was too down about it to even have the courage to try and change that, but she did. It’s the Aries blood in that woman!

    Reply

    • kimmwalker
      Jul 09, 2012 @ 14:16:08

      Thanks for taking the time to reply, Yasmin, and best wishes with your group. It’d be great to have a blog post from Let’s Write, if they’d like to share what they’re up to.

      Reply

  3. Joanna (Lazuli Portals)
    Jul 09, 2012 @ 11:50:14

    Thank you – this is perfect timing, as we’re about to dip our toe into the proverbial waters of offline (i.e. real world!) writers’ circles and other such scary things.

    It’s a sign to me that we’re doing the right thing at the right time . . . and that it will be fun!

    Reply

  4. Tim Taylor
    Jul 09, 2012 @ 20:43:04

    Nice blog, Kimm. I agree with you about writers’ groups – being able to bounce ideas off people, and being challenged to write something in a short space of time really helps to get the creative juices flowing.

    Reply

  5. Joyce Worsfold
    Jul 10, 2012 @ 16:32:57

    Hi Kimm, I definitely agree about writer’s groups and the 3 that I belong to offer great support. I am constantly amazed by how clever and imaginative they all are and how different the end results of one stimulus can be. Knowing that other people are all writing away on their own lap-tops is a great incentive and has enabled me to produce 2 books in recent months. Both available on Amazon, they are ‘Double Cream’ by JoyceWorsfold and Robert Taylor, a book of poems, stories and monologues and ‘Gardens, Gifts and Grace’ which I have edited for a group of Christian Writers. Keep writing folks, words are wonderful!

    Reply

  6. D3
    Jul 16, 2012 @ 19:55:52

    This writing has inspired me to continue working on my own blog

    Reply

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