Creating Writing Groups

PowerPoint slide highlighting the benefits of writing groups

What is a writing group?

Writing groups can take a variety of shapes. Some writing groups function more as accountability groups, where the group comes together to work and to share the progress they’ve made. Others function more as feedback groups, where the group comes together to discuss a draft that one of the group members has written (and often shared ahead of time). Other groups combine these approaches, depending on what the group members need. Writing groups can take place in-person or digitally.

How do I create a writing group?

Your writing group can be made up of students or colleagues from your program and institution or from other programs and institutions. You can ask others who are in a similar stage or position if they want to start or join a group. Social media pages or groups and listservs can be a good ¬†place to ask others if they’re interested.

On campus, you might ask others who attend the Writers Workshop’s writing groups if they’d like to join a group either in person or via our listserv. If you’d like to be added to our listserv, email us at wow@illinois.edu.

What should I keep in mind before and after creating a writing group? 

  • Writing groups should be supportive and non-threatening. Find members who want to see each other succeed rather than compete.
  • Think about what you want to achieve and communicate that with others.
  • Your writing group might function better if you create guidelines for the group and everyone follows those.
  • Come back to these guidelines and your goals often and revaluate if the group is working for you. If not, think about ways you might make it work and talk to your group members.
  • Your needs and goals might change over time, don’t be afraid to look for a new group if the current one isn’t working.

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