Sunday, November 10, 2013

In Search of Writer's Group

I am in the midst of a LOVELY book right now. It's a collection of short stories by three women, called The Curiosities. And it is absolutely delightful. Below I have posted what the cover looks like.

Even more than the lovely vignettes provided by these three authors is their obvious time spent working together on their writing, reading each other's stories, offering advice, giving prompts, mentoring each other, encouraging each other's writing. The stories have little handwritten comments and drawings in the margins, capturing the sense of these works in process.

The book is well worth reading, but it makes me long for the writing groups I once had. The group I started in Independence, Kansas, which is still going strong thanks to the efforts of Cherilyn Fienen and other fantastic people. The playwrights' group north of Seattle, who were such an ideal group of intelligent writers, who were willing to ask hard questions, who managed to weed out the weaknesses in my writing in minutes, when all I could sense was that something was wrong.


Only I don't have any of that now. The local writer's group is not really a critiquing group. I need some writers on a similar journey to mine. Writers who see the worth in my writing--who can grasp the kernels of truth in it--but who also see what isn't working, who can tell me where I falter, where the prose or dialogue doesn't work, who can help me be better.

Worse still, I need them in person. Online simply won't work for me. I need to see their faces, interact with them in real space, in real time. I haven't met anyone like that here yet. Painters, yes. But not writers.

So I'll keep looking. These people may be here, waiting for the opportunity to find someone just like me… and we will find each other. I know it. And we will help each other create our own collection of "curiosities."


  1. Ironically, I'm perfectly cool with an on-line group, but I haven't had much luck with that either.

    You ran a damn fine group in Independence, that I remember.

  2. That's only because I had a damn fine group of writers…

    I miss, miss, miss my writer's group. I've had two great groups in the past, and the Independence group was filled with both good writers and good friends. Very sad not to have that.

    It's so important to find some people who are simply the right fit, too. Any writer's group won't work. There was one group just a few miles away in Coffeyville, KS, and they were not the right fit at all.