It has been three years since our first post about writing groups on the Isle of Wight, and I think we can all agree that a LOT has changed since then! Sadly, many of the previous writing groups are no longer active but fear not! It turns out that there are even more vibrant writing groups awaiting your discovery than ever before so, settle in with your favourite cuppa as we guide you towards your new writing tribe.
Leading the charge we have Wight Writers who featured on our original list from 2020. This friendly group of writers convene every Thursday night via Zoom for critique sessions, where members can read out their work and receive thoughtful, constructive feedback. Beyond critique, Wight Writers also hold social events throughout the year including lunches and suppers, some of which feature visiting speakers on a related writing topic. With this delightful writing group, members can tailor their involvement to suit their preferences so, whether you’re a writer who thrives on lots of feedback or someone just looking to socialise with fellow writers, Wight Writers provides an accessible and welcoming haven. Membership for this group is £10 per year and though they are quite full, they are always willing to consider new members.
Find out more: https://wightwriters.org.uk/
Next up we have a fairly new group that emerged onto the scene in August this year, MAD Scribblers Writers’ and Illustrators’ Café. This wonderful group meets every Wednesday evening from 5:30pm – 7:30pm in East Cowes and the best part? Admission is FREE! Everyone is welcome to stop in and utilise their large library of resources or learn about local writing and drawing-related competitions and events. They have engaging writing exercises to challenge and inspire or, you can simply relish the opportunity to work on your project with like-minded people. Hot and cold drinks (accompanied by a tempting slice of cake) await you and you can peruse the second-hand books for sale, with all proceeds contributing to the registered charity MAD-Aid. It is hoped that author talks and workshops will be introduced in the future, providing even more opportunities for growth and learning. For those with time constraints or budget considerations, the MAD Scribblers Writers’ and Illustrators’ Café offers a perfect, easy-going entry point to the world of writing groups. So, whether you’re seeking inspiration, camaraderie, or a place to nurture your creative spirit this could be the ideal starting point for your writing journey.
Moving swiftly on, we have Island Writers, a steadfast choice from our earlier recommendations. Priding themselves on their inclusivity, Island writers extend a warm welcome to all, whether you’re a seasoned author or venturing into the realm of writing for the first time, whether you write daily or hardly at all, this group is designed for YOU. Island Writers meet on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of every month from 7pm – 9:30pm just around the corner from the Ryde Library. With this group, you can meet local writers and stretch your brain with their stimulating writing exercises and prompts. This group is perfect for those seeking the elusive spark of creativity. Island Writers provides the essential ingredients for a productive writing session – tea, coffee, biscuits and a dash of inspiration. The perfect recipe for weaving the threads of a novel. Membership for this group is just £2 making it a viable option for writers from all backgrounds and experience.
Another group for the budding creative writers, and also the poets out there, is East Cowes Creative Writing. Meeting fortnightly on a Tuesday at the East Cowes Library between the hours of 11am and 1pm, this is the group for those who get their best work done in the daylight hours! With a focus on poetry and prose, this group takes inspiration from various subjects in each meeting to help you discover and nurture your unique creative flair. Each meeting is informal and “nothing like those school day memories!” Whether you’re a seasoned poet or prose enthusiast or someone just dipping their toes into the world of creative writing, this group welcomes you with open arms.
Next, we have the Brading Station Writing Group led by award-winning poet, Maggie Sawkins, this group welcomes new and seasoned writers, offering a flexible and inviting space for creative exploration. Each session with Brading Station Writing Group is unique and members are encouraged to participate as much or as little as they wish, allowing for a fluid and personalised experience. The group typically meets once a month, gathering in person on a Sunday from 4:30pm -6:30pm at the historic Brading Station. This picturesque setting promises to add an extra layer of inspiration to the creative process, providing an environment where ideas can flourish. This is another group that is free to join, just contact them on the Facebook group and one of the 26 members is guaranteed to welcome you!
Last, but certainly not least, we have an option for those who wish to focus on poetry and spoken word alone. The Ventnor Exchange Spoken Word Collective is a space for writers and performers who want to create, experiment and develop their craft in a supportive environment, under guidance from established and celebrated poets! They meet fortnightly on Thursdays at Ventnor Exchange 7:30pm – 9pm. You need nothing but an interest in poetry to take part, and an eagerness to explore your creativity with others! Throughout the year this group offers opportunities to see performances, attend one-off masterclasses and even, perform yourself!
Not a writing group but certainly an important organisation to have on your radar as a writer, Artful Scribe! A not-for-profit writer development agency based in Southampton that offers support to emerging and continuing writers in Hampshire, Dorset and the Solent region. They aim to create new work and develop skills through workshops, live events and career-development opportunities working with all ages and levels of ability. If you’d like to know more, find their website linked below!
If we’ve missed anyone off this list be sure to let us know and good luck on your writing journey!