Much has been said and written about belonging to a writing group, sometimes by those who have had a negative experience through joining a group incompatible with their writing needs, or where their expectations differed to the aims of the group. Alternatively, many writers speak about positive experience of group involvement and how this has helped them develop as writers and poets. Beginning tomorrow, and throughout the month of August, I will conduct interviews with authors and poets on the value of writing groups from their perspective.
All interviewees will be asked:
What writing group/s do you belong to?
What is the structure of this writing group?
Is this writing group associated with a state or national organisation?
Does this group have affiliations with peak writing associated bodies?
How many members does this writing group have?
Does the writing group have a clearly defined goal in writing?
Are there any critiquing guidelines to follow?
Are there any guidelines for people whose work is being critiqued to follow?
Does the group have set guidelines for behaviour, and a process to remove members who are disruptive to the smooth running of the group?
Does everybody contribute to each meeting, or do you only hear from the same few people?
How long have you been a member of this writing group?
What is your role within this group?
What are the benefits to you from attending a writing group?
Why be in a writing group?
What do you look for in a writing group?
Does your writing group give peer critique or general comment?
What is the focus of your writing group – writing or poetry?
Can the two be successfully combined in terms of critiquing?
Is there anything you would like from your writing group that is missing at the moment?
Have you belonged to any other writing groups?
Have you had a negative experience in a writing group?
Do you have any advice for someone thinking of joining a writing group?
Is there anything you would like to add?