1. Catrin Lewis
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    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

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    Dues-Charging Writers' Groups

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Catrin Lewis, Apr 21, 2015.

    How useful are they for the writing process and eventual publication? How about the conventions they sponsor?

    My state has a group of this sort and they'll be sponsoring their annual convention in four weeks about twenty miles down the road from me. If money weren't tight I'd join up and go, but as it is, I'm wondering if other WF members have found organizations like this a good investment.

    (Oh, and if the Mods think this thread should go elsewhere, please do move it.)
     
  2. VirtuallyRealistic
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    VirtuallyRealistic Active Member

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    It sounds a bit odd to me. Is this a Writer's Workshop or a sort of club for writer's to join? If it's the latter then it makes more sense. Depending on the price I think it sounds like a fairly good idea. You get the chance to meet other people who share the same aspirations as yourself, and perhaps you'll meet some people that could critique your work. Maybe you could find some long-term friends to create your own Writer's Workshop with, and then you'll always have someone to bounce your ideas off of.

    I'm not sure if there is anything like this around me, but I live in a moderately sized town that doesn't have much outside of golf clubs. I think if we did have one, and the price was reasonable, I would join. I hear people who have found success in their lives almost always had a mentor that, "trained," them. So, perhaps this would be the perfect place to find a mentor. Now that you've brought this up, I'm convincing myself that I want to try one, haha.
     
  3. Gloria Sythe
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    Gloria Sythe Member

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    I attend a writers group near my home town (every second Wed). It has been a valuable source to hear so many little things that can make a person's writing so much better. I am fortunate enough to be able to talk to several people who have published books and/or write news paper editorials. We have had some very well known writers drop in and talk to us. We don't pay a due nor a membership fee; however, we donate to help pay for the rent of the place we meet. We take turns chairing or running the meetings but there is one rule that we all go by; always have the members or attendees leave the meeting with something new in the knowledge of writing.
     
  4. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    It all depends on the group. Can you sit in on a meeting to see what you think?
     
  5. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've been a member of various clubs, and there were always "membership fees" to cover the costs of running the club, hiring the premises to meet in, etc.

    If it's a reasonable sum from that perspective (e.g., I wouldn't join a health club at £20 per month) then it sounds reasonable. If it sounds like they're out to make a profit...
     
  6. stevesh
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    stevesh Banned Contributor

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    There are writers' groups on meetup.com around here. Some charge a small ($1 a year) membership fee to cover the $12 a month Meetup fee. I haven't joined one yet, but I suppose the value of any writing group depends entirely on its membership.
     
  7. Commandante Lemming
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    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

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    That's going to depend on the group, what they charge, and what they do with it.

    I pay a whopping US$12 per year to mine. I think it's partially an investment thing, partially to book meeting space if needed, although we usually meet in a cafe.

    Honestly that's less than I pay for dinner on writing group nights at said cafe (because I do usually eat there and they have KILLER white bean soup, and writers with are fun but they're more fun when they all have wine.)

    So I'd look into finding one on meetup that charges something like that - and if there ain't one, you could always start one yourself (and that's not bad English, it's my "authorial voice", so there.)

    If you're looking at a group that charges more, obviously the question is what they do with it and if you think you'd benefit from said services. If they're doing a convention, the question is whether it's a good convention and whether your dues get you a discount on admission. Conventions can be important, especially for genre writers, but it depends on the con and they can be very expensive. I haven't gone to any but I'm definitely watching for any that I can go to - because I think they might be important networking opportunities once I get closer to finishing the book. But DANG they're expensive!
     
  8. kfmiller
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    kfmiller Active Member

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    I found one on meetup.com that I have really enjoyed. They don't charge anything (although if it was a couple bucks like the other groups here mentioned I would happily pay it), and we meet in a local coffee shop 2 times a month.

    There are about six published authors that attend, a lot of in progress authors, and people who have literally just started writing. Last night we did a first page exercise where everyone who wanted brought in their first page and they were read anonymously and everyone voted if they were an agent would they ask for more, and why or why not. It was a lot of fun.

    Another cool thing this group has done in the past is release an anthology through the small publishing company that a couple of the authors are published at. You get to experience the publishing world and you get a publishing credit. I just started going so I missed out on that last year, hoping they do another one.

    I've got a lot out of the group so far and am glad I forced myself to bring my first page in :eek:
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2015
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  9. Catrin Lewis
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    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, I've done it. Signed up for the group and the conference both. It includes a one-on-one with an agent in your genre, and other professional personalized critique.

    I AM SCARED SILLY.
     
  10. Commandante Lemming
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    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

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    Nice! Let us know how it goes
     
  11. Catrin Lewis
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    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

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    Assuming the hotel has a good Internet connection, I could post from the scene.
     
  12. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    That sounds like an excellent group but if it is Meetup, someone is paying the fees for everyone else, probably the group organizer.
     
  13. kfmiller
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    kfmiller Active Member

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    I know, which is why I said that they don't charge anything but if they did ask for a couple bucks to cover costs I wouldn't mind. ;)
     
  14. Catrin Lewis
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    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

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    The group in my case is called Pennwriters. I've gotten very comfortable with this group here on Writing Forums; I hope I can do as well with a face to face group.
     
  15. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    That looks interesting. We have a nationwide group called, "Skeptics in the Pub" but it's more individual groups than membership in a national organization. It's a fun group meet.
     
  16. B93
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    B93 Active Member

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    There are several local groups. Some do lots of writing exercises. Some meet at a library and have no charge.

    The one I go to has no charge, except voluntary contribution to keep the web domain name. We concentrate more on reviewing submissions of people's projects, with occasional exercises or lessons and a rare talk by a better-known author. You can read the member guide to see how we try to operate.
    http://noblepencr.org/
    http://noblepencr.org/?page_id=224 member guide

    We meet at a restaurant that isn't very busy on Thursday night and they are glad to have us with no extra charge, just the meals/desserts/drinks that some (not all) buy.

    If you don't find a suitable group in your area, maybe you could start one.
     
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