Thursday, February 7, 2013

New member!

So I'm excited! Our writers' group, called Write Club!, may soon have a new member. When I first floated the idea of a writers' group on the classroom forum of my creative writing class, I admit I was terrified. There are so many stories of the "bad" sort of writers' groups.

For example...

Or this...

"What's wrong? "
"The group said they hate the Oxford comma! I'm never going back!"
I do not blame you seal. I do not blame you.

And Google will give you a thousand more links to similar stories. And yet, when only two people responded, I was still disappointed. But we were lucky.  We met for the first time two years ago, established a set of guidelines for meetings, and have been meeting regularly ever since. 

We're tiny, which helps. There are only three of us which makes it easy to act like adults, but we also have very distinct perspectives so there is no "echo chamber" effect.  We talked early on about going public, but one of our members had attended several other writers' groups with the more toxic results. So we set a rule that we would go to an "invitation only" status instead of Public Russian Roulette. We wanted to maintain the quality of our group, and while there was some worry about becoming stagnant, we figured the risk wasn't worth the reward.

But at my latest meeting of the Triangle Sisters in Crime chapter, there was a lady who was looking for a critique group. She was interesting, engaged, and I could smell the "serious writer" on her. She also made insightful comments during the meeting, and displayed a sense of humor, and I think she'll make a great addition, if it works for her. (She has about a 45 minute travel time one way, which is a bit much, but we'll see.)

I will also say that we have one member who meets long distance via Skype, and that works out fine for us, because we email our submissions and critiques out before the meeting, so we have all the notes and the face-to-computer discussion works well. We may have to look into some more web-conferencing stuff like Google hangouts.

Also, we are in favor of the Oxford comma and will defend it to the DEATH.

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