By its very nature, writing is a solitary business. But even if you do manage to overcome writer’s block, plot holes and misbehaving characters, the frustration only gets worse as you start the process of getting your book published. Sometimes you just want to get together with like-minded people who understand your pain!
That’s why writers’ groups are such wonderful places. They enable writers to come together to share their knowledge and experiences. Whether you are an aspiring writer who needs help getting to grips with the basics of plotting a novel or you’ve polished your final draft and need some advice on how to submit to agents, a writers’ group is a unique place where you can get advice on almost any literary problem you might be facing. It’s more than likely someone else in the group will have already stumbled over it. All writing groups are different so it’s important to find one that suits your needs. Some can be informal and simply offer a place to chat about writing, share your work and give general feedback. Others will be more structured in their approach, setting homework between meetings for other members to critique, having set topics for discussions and limiting the time each member can speak. Writing is a very personal undertaking. For a new writer especially, sharing your stories can be akin to baring your soul to a group of strangers, but a good group will be supportive and provide feedback that is always positive and constructive.
On the Isle of Wight, we are lucky to have a wealth of groups based across the Island. Many have websites or Facebook pages which are a great place to find out if they are the right one for you.
West Wight Writers
Launched in March 2017, this group meets on the 1st Thursday of the month at 7pm at Mrs Middleton’s Bookshop, School Green Road, Freshwater, PO40 9AS. This delightful venue is an independent bookshop and is perfect for inspiring the creative mind. The group is informal – no homework! Members are encouraged to read their work if they feel comfortable or simply enjoy the homemade cakes. It is run by Krissy Lloyd who has appeared on the publishing panel at the Isle of Wight Literary Festival and was the assistant to a leading London literary agent. Krissy is also a member of the team at Medina Books and is always happy to share advice if you pop into the shop.
The West Wight Writers can be found on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/groups/WestWightWriters
Wight Writers is a friendly writers’ group for writers who live on the Isle of Wight. They hold critique sessions every Thursday night where members who choose to read out their work are given constructive feedback. They also have social events throughout the year, including American lunches and suppers. Some of these are just for fun, but others include a visiting speaker or a themed discussion on a writing-related topic. Members can choose how much or how little they take part. Some people want plenty of feedback while others just want social contact with other writers. No one has to read out their work unless they want to –it’s fine to come to the critique sessions just to give feedback to others.
Wight Fair Writers & Artists Circle
The Wight Fair Writer’s Circle was born out of a course at the IOW college in January 2008. Many of the members who attended that course had never written anything before, but that soon changed. From that experience came the writing circle. It started out as a small group, but over the years their numbers have increased greatly. They are very proud of the members who started the circle because they have not only gone on to have their first book published, but have also had sequels published too. Membership is open to anyone over 18 years of age. The group meets once a month in Newport.
Island Writers is a friendly Isle of Wight writing group suitable for all creative writers, published or unpublished, whether you write regularly or haven’t produced anything for years. Come and meet other local writers, stretch your brain with enjoyable writing activities, get motivated to start writing again, and give/receive helpful, supportive feedback on current projects. Open to ages 18+they meet on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month at Ryde Library, from 7 pm-9:30 pm. Tea/coffee, biscuits and inspiration provided!