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I have been wondering whether to join a writer’s group, an online one at the moment, but maybe someday even an off-line one.

I am not convinced either way…yet.

Are any of you part of writer’s groups? If you are, would you like to share your experiences?

Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her literary crime thriller series, the Blue Mumbai, is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency. Both The Blue Bar and The Blue Monsoon were published in 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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  • damyantig says:

    Thanks guys…all very different perspectives, just as I expected. I haven’t made my call yet.

    But if I do lean towards group writing, Darc, I will definitely consider joining yours 🙂

  • I belong to a writers’ group purely for the sense of community. I read occasionally, but I honestly don’t care what anyone thinks and sometimes find the feedback a waste of time. For the record, I was trained as a teacher in the workshopping method that requires group members to read a hard copy and respond in writing. Reading aloud and having people give comments is a pretty worthless way to work.

    I write alone for the most part and when I want feedback, I go to a select group of people.

  • Kym says:

    I wouldn’t be writing today without a writers’ group I found myself in. It really is only two of us, though we were once up to five.

    We both had trouble accepting criticism and so were too afraid to do much. We were so gentle at first that we could hardly be said to help each other write better except that we encouraged each other to write. Now both of us have received money for our writing and we keep on working and we’re each others biggest fans and harshest critics. The level of trust took years to build and was well worth it!

  • DarcKnyt says:

    Yes, I’m part of an online writer’s critique group. In fact, I’m the co-founder. But lately interest from our members seems to be flagging, so I don’t have many experiences to share.

    Basically, we post our work into a Critique forum where other writers provide us feedback on the work; where it needs improvement, where it shines, etc. We called it “The Truth Hurts” because the goal was to be a place where writers can obtain real, honest feedback — even if they don’t like what they receive.

    At first, there was much interest. However, a few writers stopped coming around and as people got busier with harsher economic climates, we’ve had less participation from the members.

    In general we post two pieces per week, but this past week we only had one. After three rounds of two pieces, we take a week off.

    We allow short works and sections of longer manuscripts up to 6K words. The forum has a 60K character limit; we’ve not run into it yet.

    Overall, I’ve gotten very good feedback about my work, and it’s given me guidance I can use in other pieces too.

    All that gobbledygook aside, though, LOTS of authors (including my favorite) don’t find any real value in a critique group. One explanation I heard, which summed the sentiment pretty well, was that you wouldn’t learn to swim by jumping into a pool with six other people who don’t know h0w to swim. The difference being, some critique groups do have published authors in their ranks, as well as editors. You might benefit most from a group like that.

    Good luck with your decision! And of course, you can consider this an invitation to our group. We’d love to have someone of your ability commit to being one of our reviewers.