• Join or start a Writers Group

    Join or Start a Writers Group

    The myth that writing is a solitary pursuit can make some writers feel isolated. If you’re seeking support from people who understand what you’re experiencing, joining a writers group may be the perfect start. Many groups also work as critique circles, giving detailed feedback.

    Joining a writers group

    If you find a group you’d like to join, make contact by phone or email in the first instance so you won’t just be a face in the crowd. Perhaps arrange to meet five minutes before the next meeting to introduce yourself to at least one other member of the group. If they are due to critique a story, it will also mean you’ll have the opportunity to receive the work prior to the meet-up, and you’ll be able to make the most of the session.

    Remember, groups work best when everyone works together, but if the group you visit first isn’t giving you the support you need, it’s OK to seek out another one. Your time won’t have been wasted, as making connections with writers of all stages of development and from all genres is a reward in itself. If you can’t find a writers group that suits your needs, why not start your own?

    Starting Your Own Writers Group

    • You might like to consider some of the following questions when setting up a writers group:
    • What is the objective of your group?
    • What do you want to get out of it and also what will the other members want to get out of it?
    • When do you want to meet? Days, evenings or weekends?
    • How often do you want to meet? Too often can be a strain for members, especially in a small group, but too seldom can cause members to lose momentum.
    • Where do you want to meet? If it’s a new group you may be more comfortable meeting in a public space, like a library, until you get to know each other.
    • Are you going to critique each other’s work? If yes, what are the ground rules?
    • Do you want to have homework after each session?
    • Will you share contact details so that members can meet outside of set group times?
    • Do you want to set up a Facebook group so that members can chat online and share each other’s progress?
  • Develop Professional Relationships

    Develop Professional Relationships

    The publishing industry is made up of close communities that depend on professional relationships.

    Attending festivals, readings, book launches and events are great ways to connect with other writers and industry professionals. Networking is not a dirty word. Networking is not leveraging friendships, manipulating individuals, and it does not involve bribery, trickery or falsehoods. Networking, by definition, is an exchange of mutually beneficial information.

    Writing is a business as much as it is an art so within this industry you need to conduct yourself in an appropriate manner. When meeting new people, introduce yourself and engage in the conversation. Interact first as a human being, rather than a writer with something to sell.

    Building relationships takes work and becoming confident at networking takes practice, but operating in a professional and polite manner should be instinctive.

  • Invite an author for a talk or workshop

    Invite an author for a talk or workshop

    Australia has a vibrant collection of talented authors who are ready and willing to work with groups of people in a range of ways, from author talks through to classes.

    If you’re looking for an author to talk to your writers group, school group or festival audience, a good place to start is with one of the peak industry bodies specifically devoted to partnering you and your school, group or festival with an author.

    Book Links is a non-profit organisation with the goal “to establish a children’s literature centre in Queensland where young people can interact with authors, illustrators and storytellers.” If you’re after an author for your school group in Queensland, we suggest getting in touch with them via their website.

    Speakers Ink describe themselves as a “literary agency of excellence dedicated to connecting experienced speakers with schools, libraries, festivals and literary events of all kinds.” With over 150 authors on their books, they’re a dedicated resource for linking you with a writer.

    Australian Speakers Bureau is focused on serving businesses and associations that are “looking for a speaker, trainer, facilitator or entertainer.”

    The Australian Society of Authors  has a range of resources including a searchable directory of authors.

    Wondering what to pay? Recommended rates are set by the Australian Society of Authors.