a one-of-a-kind writers’ group
One day recently I was getting my manuscript ready to send to an editor and I was unsure about how to treat one of the chapters. Should I run the essays as they were, or should I combine, condense and make them more up to date?
“I need a partner!” I yelled. Out loud. To myself. Because I obviously don’t have a partner. Or anyone to listen to me.
That wasn’t the first time I had felt a void where a sounding board should be. As writers, we’re quite the loners, aren’t we? We write alone, we think and generate ideas by ourselves, and brainstorming with only one brain is hardly a storm at all.
Most of the professionals I work with are paid to do their job and are not on call to give me feedback. I tried joining writing groups, but matching up times and locations with my schedule prevented that from working out. And I’ve attended writers’ conferences, but they are short-lived and overwhelming. What I really wanted was a partnership with other writers, where we could all use each other to:
- bounce ideas
- read our work
- pass along our experiences
- share our expertise
- learn from each other’s mistakes and missteps
- offer inspiration and atta-boys
None of us have time to be someone else’s writing coach or business partner, but we can all spare a few minutes for a fellow writer, especially if we can, in turn, get the benefit of all that awesome writing talent.
Who is a School Night Writers’ Group writer?
He is a new self-published author who is still learning the ropes on the publishing process. She’s a traditionally published author who is now responsible for her own social media marketing and is looking for ideas. She is a blog writer with a few questions about SEO. He’s a never-published, never-wants-to-be-published short story writer who wants another professional to read his latest piece. She’s a poet who wants the benefit of a writers’ conference but doesn’t want to spend the money to hear speakers that don’t know anything about poetry. She is a writer whose day job is a literary publicist; she’s willing to share what she knows about author publicity in exchange for some writing advice.
Being a writer is an ever-changing environment. If only we could sit in front of a fireplace all day and Hemingway the heck out of a notebook! But no, there’s a Facebook fan page to tend to, Tweets to RT, contacts to nurture, press releases to send out, and a platform to build. We’re lucky if we can eke out a few minutes to do actual writing.
It’s a complicated world. A wonderful, adventurous, high-tech, low-tech, glorious and complicated world. And to do it right, you’re going to need a circle of friends.
How does this work?
School Night Writers’ Group holds a Google Hangout video-conference once a month where all members on the call have the opportunity to say what we’re working on and present any needs or feedback. The rest of us have a chance to jump in and offer to help, offer input, or just talk it out.
Our private Facebook page is where we can post content helpful to writers, resources, and other shares at any time.
Side conversations and breakaway partnerships and working relationships are encouraged! If someone in the group is willing to work with you on something more extensive on the side, great! If you meet someone in School Night Writers’ Group which whom you click and you both decide to partner up professionally, super! We hope you’ll stick around and continue with the group, however.
School Night Writers’ Group membership requirements
♦ There is no cost to join, but your commitment is required. Don’t join School Night Writers’ Group like you would join a group on LinkedIn. By joining you are promising to participate in some way. If you can rarely make the monthly Google Chat sessions, try to offer something on the Facebook page. Your participation won’t be monitored, but we want all members to be active.
♦ Membership is a give and take. If you ask for help and advice, be sure you’re giving back in the same quantity. Please don’t join School Night Writers’ Group, get all your questions answered and then quit.
♦ Don’t ask members to take on heavy editing, proofreading or other big tasks for which professionals charge fees. If, as a member, you are asked to do something beyond your time constraints, speak up and feel free to refuse the task. We all have different schedules and comfort levels.
♦ School Night Writers’ Group and its members are not responsible for private bartering arrangements or exchange of talent agreements outside the group.
♦ Input should be positive and critiques should be constructive but not negative or mean-spirited. If you are unsure about how to critique someone’s work without offending, don’t join in critiques. We’re all on the same playing field here. We’re all looking for support.
How to join School Night Circle
Send a photo of yourself and a brief (1 paragraph) bio to: email@example.com.
Membership is considered and approved by current members. You’ll be notified and welcomed via email.