First I would like to thank my first responder. Here is their question:

Dear PWWrites:

I’ve been trying to get back into writing for a long time. I don’t have the time to get an MFA and I feel like I’m alone in my writing. How do I get a writing group together?


LoneWriter 25


Okay, this is not an uncommon question, LoneWriter25. There are many ways to access the writing community without getting a MFA (although I will say if you ever get the time to get one, it really is a well worth it degree. I learned a lot about myself as a writer and what the different genres can bring to my writing toolbox).

First, use the internet and all it’s social networks. You will find plenty of people just like you struggling to write. Use the social networks to talk about writing.

Second, look to your local library and book stores. I know Barnes and Noble does some writing groups and I once went to a writing group in my local library. I stopped going because I went into grad school and I didn’t have the time to juggle the writing group and school. It was a great experience being around others who wanted to work with writing and it was a big writing ego boost for me.

Thirdly, look at the local literary magazines in your area. In Philadelphia, there are many local literary magazines and these magazines offer writing classes as well as events for writers to attend. Also, try going to open mic nights if poetry is your thing. There you will meet people who write and from there you can start talking to others just like you.

Lastly, read books in your genre and look for blogs that discuss these books. That will help you see what others are saying about your favorite books and many bloggers are interested in craft issues their favorite writers solve. Some bloggers will discuss these types of issues with you and that will help you feel less alone.

The main thing you want to do is take a good look at yourself as a writer. Ask yourself what you really want from a writer’s group. What is it about your writing you feel like you need advice with? That will help you understand what you are looking for and as you progress in your writing, your needs will change. Do not be afraid to move with your change and move on to a new writer’s group when you progress.

Now, this is a down and dirty way of looking at writing groups, but I think it is a good place for you to start. Let me know how things go.