Now that you’ve planned out your group, what’s next?
Step #2: Finding Members
If you are already part of a large writing group, it may not be too hard to find people to join your group. The now fairly well known Write Sisters actually were a spin off from a larger community group (a monthly meeting for all writers in a specific town). But if you are a complete beginner, you may need to do some advertising.
Here are some ideas:
–E-mail writers lists that you are already a part of (or join some–check out yahoo groups or livejournal communities. I found one writer by posting an ad to a livejournal community)
–Contact your local author’s groups for help. Children’s writers should try their local SCBWI critique group coordinator. My local NESCBWI critique group coordinator was very helpful and mailed me a bunch of suggestions and resources for starting up a group. She also posted our ad to the NESCBWI website. I got a lot of responses to the ad and next time we’re looking for a new member (which unfortunately will be soon) I’ll definitely post an ad there again.
–Check out Meetup.com. I wouldn’t recommend trying to start a small, selective group on meetup.com (since they charge a fee), but if you want a large, free-for-all type group, this is a good place to advertise. Because I wanted a smaller group, I actually emailed someone else on meetup who was starting up a group, and she ended up abandoning her larger group and joining mine.
–Post your ad on your own blog/to twitter/to other social networking sites. This works better if you have a lot of followers.
–Post physical ads to local coffee shops, book stores, and other writer hangouts. I didn’t have a lot of luck with this one. I posted to my favorite writing spot and got nothing. I even sent a flyer to Grub Street (another writing organization I’m a member of) asking them to post an ad on their wall, but since most of their participants are writers for adults, I had a few responders who didn’t really fit our criteria.