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Resources for Writers

How to Find Your Writing Community: Really Useful Links by Ellen Brickley

Article by Ellen Brickley ©.
Posted in Resources (, ).

Being a writer can be lonely. Writing doesn’t naturally bring you into contact with people, especially if you’re starting out. So many articles on writing suggest a critique group or a community can support your writing, but how do you find one? Standing outside your house holding a sign that says ‘Hello, I am a writer’ produces results that are mixed, at best.

I am blessed to live in the capital city of a country with a vibrant writing culture, but even if you’ve made your home on a peaceful, deserted mountainside, you shouldn’t have to be isolated (unless you want to be!). Here are some resources for finding your community:

  1. The Irish Writers’ Centre has a list of writing groups, some affiliated with the Centre and some independent, located countrywide. This is a great place to start looking.
  1. Classes can be an excellent way to meet other writers. As well as specialist writing schools, libraries and community schools are a fabulous resource, and a good spot to post up a sign if you want to start your own group. If you live near a bookshop, like Easons, Dubray, or the Gutter Bookshop, sign up for their mailing list if they have one, or follow them on social media to keep up to date with what’s going on. You may find your people hovering around the signing table at your favourite author’s launch!
  1. Writers’ online forums are a godsend if you’re busy or shy! Two of my favourites are the NaNoWriMo forums and Absolute Write. Facebook has lots of dedicated, specialist groups for writers. Twitter is also a vibrant space for writers, but it isn’t closely regulated, so it’s not for everyone – Nicola Morgan has written a really helpful ebook guide to Twitter.
  1. Most keen writers are also keen readers, so joining a book club is another way to meet bookish people and talk about your favourite authors – even if you’re the only writer, reading and analysing books flexes your mental muscles for working on your own material! Dubray Books has great advice for starting your own book club here.

Just remember to make time for writing amidst all the socialising, though!

(c) Ellen Brickley

Ellen Brickley is a Dublin-based, chai-latte-powered novelist, essayist, and civil servant who can't believe she gets paid to write sometimes. She holds an MA in American Literature from UCD, and has provided content for Explorer Publishing and Lionbridge Technologies. Her essays have appeared in Banshee literary magazine. She is currently hard at work on revisions for a YA novel.