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Self Isolating? Want to Join or Start a Writer’s Group?

Writing.ie | Guest Bloggers | From the Front Row

Vanessa Fox O'Loughlin

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One of the key elements that became obvious from our work on the National Emerging Writer Programme (lots of free video for you to watch on You Tube) was just how useful writers groups can be, particularly if you find yourself self-isolating during the current crisis. Talking to writers, we know that groups can be tricky to find – Writing.ie runs a subscription based writers group via Facebook Writers Ink, which periodically opens for membership, but we run lots of challenges via our Facebook page, so pop over and like it so you’re kept updated. For info on Writers Ink, register your interest here.

If you are at home and you want to start your own online group, even by setting up a shared Google doc – use social media to hook up with others. Eileen Casey who set up several extremely productive writing groups in Dublin, explains in this PDF Setting up a Writing Group, how to set up a (physical) group in your area – many of the principles apply to online groups. If you do set up a group you’ll need members, and we hope that’s where we can help.

In normal times, if you’re not the organising type, we would suggest contacting your local library in the first instance to see if they are running a group that has room for more members, or would consider setting up another one. A sign on the library notice board is always a great way to attract other local writers. Times are a bit different at the moment, and in order to help our users connect with each other, hop over to our Facebook page, LIKE IT,  and leave a post with your contact details (a Twitter ID or Facebook link is ideal rather than an email address.) We’ll be running challenges with prompts in the coming weeks so by liking you’ll see what’s happening.

Writing Group Organisers: Leave a comment detailing  what you write. Please leave a contact Twitter/Facebook link so prospective members can contact you and put ‘Group Organiser’/Your Genre in bold at the top of the post so visitors can scroll through posts quickly to find you.

Prospective Writing Group Members: If you are looking to join a group, scroll through our Facebook page looking for posts from Group Organisers to see if there is one near you, if not,  leave your details – including what you are writing (genre) and where you are in your writing career (emerging/short stories published/novel in progress etc) in a comment. Check back regularly to see if others near to you are also looking to join a group – contact them to find out if they’ve found one.

Much as we’d like to co-ordinate a national writing group initiative, we don’t have the man (or woman!) power at the moment to connect everyone, but we know that you are a resourceful lot…

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