Sunday, 21 August 2011

Writers' group in Doncaster - Fancy that!

My prayers have been answered.

No longer will my writing process be me buried under books and loose papers, alone.

Apparently there is a new writers' group in Doncaster, at the Rainbow Room just down from Netherhall Road near the town center. I look forward to booking my space and printing a few giddy pages to read out loud in front of people I don't know.

A man named Tim Lee started it because he noticed the lack of such groups in the area.

From the press release, "experienced and published writers are involved, but writers of any genre are welcome to attend to share ideas and experience and discuss work."

It is a great - and valuable - substitute for attending, for example, a creative writing class or buying a (somewhat pricey) ticket for a Writers' Conference and the requisite hotel room for a night or two, depending on how bad the hangover is.

While you may not rub elbows with the latest and greatest editors, publishers, or literary agents at your local writers' group, you can still get some good tips on your writing style from people who are not classified as your close friends and family (i.e. people who won't be afraid to tell you the truth, because they depend on you for the Wednesday carpool or because they have to face you every weekend at a barbeque.

Now my writing process will include this. Utterly terrifying. L.ike my dad would say, "It builds character."

It is important for you to let people read your polished manuscript, by all means, and for many writers these beta readers are the ones they love the most - their husband, their daughter, their mother, their best friend of thirty years) but having strangers who love reading and writing get their eager little paws on your MS and rip it to shreds - as well as praise it on its specific good points - is something that every writer should open themselves up to.

You have to be able to take criticism.

You also have to be able to read critically, recognizing what is good and bad about a text. That will help you grow.

If you are in Doncaster, contact Jude Milburn for more info on 01302 329 494.

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