One thing I forgot to mention…

by Doc Coleman on January 23, 2014 · 6 comments

in Writing Group

I’ve started up a writer’s group. More specifically, I recently founded the Germantown Writer’s Guild. In part, this was due to a conversation at thanksgiving with a fellow writer who wanted some advice on getting more serious about her writing. Another contributing factor has been hearing Philippa Ballantine and Tee Morris talk about the great fun that they have had with their writing group.

Now, I have been on writing podcasts, and I have workshopped stories, and even been on convention panels talking about writing, but I have never been part of a writer’s group. So, my first impulse was not to start a new group, but to find an existing writer’s group and join that. So, I searched online for writer’s groups in my area.

There weren’t any.

Oh, don’t get me wrong. There are writer’s groups in DC, in Frederick, Baltimore, the eastern shore, and all over northern Virginia. But if you plotted them all on a map, you would find that there was one area in Maryland that didn’t have any writer’s groups in it. And I was sitting in the middle of it.

I did consider making the drive into DC, or, more likely, up to Frederick to attend writer’s group meetings. I really did. But I got to thinking, while Germantown, Gaithersburg, and Rockville may all be small compared to DC, or even Frederick, they should still have a fair number of writers who might also be looking for a group that was conveniently local. I figured, “What the heck? I can always form a group and if no one shows up, I can disband it. No harm, no foul.”

MeetupOn January 12th, I created the Germantown Writer’s Guild on Meetup.com and created a companion group on Facebook. In less than two weeks, we have gone from nothing to almost 30 members with a variety of writing skills ranging from a complete newbie who is looking forward to writing for the first time to an experienced writer with multiple traditionally published books under her belt. And I’ve even been contacted by another author from the eastern part of the state who is willing to come as a guest speaker at one of our meetings after we get things better established. The response has been just phenomenal!

We’ve got our first meeting scheduled for this Saturday afternoon, and we’ll try to get better organized. This could be something pretty huge, but I’ll need a bunch of help from the other members in order to keep things going. I’ll need a couple more leaders who are willing to run meetings when I can’t make it. I know we’ve got interest in doing some story workshops, critique groups, support sessions for writers, developing the craft, and guidelines for getting published. If we’re going to try to cover all that and more, we’re going to have to divide things up into meetings focused on particular topics. With a little help, this writing group can become something great.

I hope I can also get some help from some of my other writer friends to come by and offer some of their insight to the group from time to time. I haven’t actually approached any of them yet. It is a little too early for that. But soon.

I do too much stuff. But it is so cool!

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