I don’t actually know. The few times I’ve tried to start groups of my own, they’ve fizzled within a year or so. But over the course of taking different writing classes, I’ve met people who have formed long term writing groups, which have provided support for their careers and improved their writing. Here’s advice from some of the people who keep those groups going.
Commit to a schedule.
Roz practices what she preaches. She and her writing buddies met over a decade ago and have been writing together ever since. You can now find her work in two different anthologies: Her piece On Becoming a Memoirist is part of The Magic of Memoir, edited by Linda Joy Myers, PhD and Brooke Warner. She also has a short story, 37′ – It Was Heaven, included in the fiction anthology Everything’s Broken, Too, edited by John Dufresne. The story was inspired by the obituary of a man who was born in 1937.
Find a ring leader and a venue.
If you can’t tell from all the technical details in this quote, Elizabeth Heise is the ring leader in her writing group – she’s the one who emails everyone to remind them about the monthly meetings. And she’s the one who brings the prompts. Also worth mentioning: the venue her group has is particularly cool: the garage-based improv studio of actress and acting instructor Katrina Morris, whose most recent short film, Supermarket, was featured in the Miami Film Festival.
Keep your eye on the main goal.
Claudia and Tora are two of Miami’s hidden writing talents. Keep an eye out for their work. My prediction is that you’ll be seeing more of it soon.
Sometimes the best writers’ group isn’t run by the writers.
If you want to check out Andrea’s writing class podcast, or the writing classes that it captures, details are at writingclassradio.com. It’s also worth mentioning that this is not Andrea’s first contribution to the Miami literary scene. She started the now-hugely-popular storytelling event Lip Service, is the editor of and contributor to the story collection Badass, and the author of a hilarious pregnancy memoir that’s been my favorite gift book for expectant mothers: My Lonely, Miserable, Lesbian Pregnancy.