Thursday, February 25, 2010

In Which My Writing Group Meets


I got together with my writing/crit group on Monday after a few months off. We took a break during Nano and then the break just swelled to cover the holiday season as well. But now that we've started up again we'll hopefully meet every three to four weeks to crit work and talk about nerdly pursuits.

One of the BEST things about having a writing/crit group, at least for me, is that it gets me all jonsed to get to work writing or editing, etc. You know that funk I was in? Gone after meeting Monday night.

Since it had been so long since we met, only one member (Your Friendly Neighborhood Palindrome) brought anything to crit (because she's always on top like that and can pull something out at last minute. Also she likes to use writing prompts, where myself and Teebore are less than fans...)

Next time Teebore and myself will also bring something to crit (for him it will be the beginning of his Nano piece and for me it will be the prologue of Foxfire even though I plan on junking it...)

We meet at Old Chicago where there is often food and beer to be had (not typically by me, though, because I'm cheap and also we split dinner duties at my house). In fact our writing group was dubbed by a friend as UMWADS (United Midwest Writing And Drinking Society) and the title just seemed to stick.

I have to say that I, personally, enjoy meeting in person as opposed to online. I'm sure there are many benefits to an online crit group and I may look for one in the future to supplement UMWADS, but meeting a crit group in person is awesome, not to mention the fact that my writing group members are also my best friends so we always have a good time.

Do what about you? Do you meet with a crit group? How did you get started and is it in person or online?

21 comments:

roxy said...

Who would not love a post which begins with cartooned lemmings? Very Funny! I also love that UMWADS is a writing and drinking society. It would be fun to be a part of your group. Educational as well as entertaining! I meet in person with a critique group of five at Barnes and Noble once a month. We don't have a cool name, but it is great!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Never met with a crit. group.
Glad yours got you out of the funk, though!
And like the cartoon.

Falen said...

Roxy - it's funny that you meet at B&Ns because that's where mine started, since we were all B&N employees at the time

Alex - do you ever wished you had a crit group? Or is going your own way a good thing for you?

Aubrie said...

My critique buddies are online. I wish I could see them in person! I work alot and my schedule is crazy, so online is the only thing that will work right now.

I'm glad you had fun!

Summer said...

Haha...UMWADS...

I do have 2 crit partners; one I meet in person, the other left me and moved to freaking MICHIGAN, so we do stuff over the phone or Skype.

I have an even loftier and drunker group that includes my brother that likes to get together, read our stuff, talk about it, read famous stuff, talk about it, and drink lots of gin and tonics and usually burn something. We call them Cult Meetings. They rock my face.

Piedmont Writer said...

I WISH I had a crit group.

Teebore said...

Man, writing groups suck... ;)

I also get jonesed to write after we meet. In fact, I went in to work early Tuesday morning and banged out a few pages for my other book. I'm going to get out of that never ending, badly-needed-revisions battle scene yet!

Teebore said...

Oh, and on the general subject of writing groups, I'm SO glad we meet regularly and in person. The online stuff is great, but it's even better to get together with you guys and talk about writing (and, you know, the geeky stuff..) face to face.

Honestly, I think I'm more excited for you and Palindrome to read my NaNo book and give me feedback than I am to start revising it. And I love revising!

Southpaw said...

No crit group yet. I think if/when I do do one I might like the in person thing too because there would be a deeper connection. But on online one could be fun too.

Kay said...

I belong to three critique "groups". (One's a single who I met while looking for a beta reader.)

Whatever, last night I met with my relaxed group -- the Mostly Memoirs aka the M&Ms. I'm odd man out but I find I get the most substantive insights from them since they aren't fantasy readers.

Falen said...

Aubrie - i'd be interested in hearing how your online crit group works

Summer - Cult meetings sound awesome. And Skype seems like it would be a good meeting of both the in person and online crit

Piedmont - are you a member of your local RWA? They might have people you could meet up with

Teebore - Go you! I went home and ate tempura ;)
LOL more excited than revisiing??! Also yes, the meeting in person is so much better than the email exchanges

Southpaw - in person is so much fun. Though i think online has it's pros as well, including the fact that you don't have to work around schedules to meet

G.~ said...

I have been searching and searching and searching for a writ/crit group since I began my new adventure in writing. I have yet to find one. I would much rather meet in person than on-line.

I really thought there would be more available options living just 45 minutes from Chicago and all.

I've asked B&N, Borders, local bookstores, the library, looked on the internet of course and I could find nothing.

This is why I joined the Writers Digest Community and I have met alot of great people on line.

I think it's great that you have a writing group. It's a motivator and a way to get better at writing.

Stark Raving Zen said...

I would SO love an official writer's group, especially if it had a name like UMWADS! I'm in an eight month long writer's workshop which meets 3 times a month, led by a published author in my town. Since I'm in the middle of nowhere it was a gem find and it acts as a writer's group, I guess, since we critique each others stuff. But it's a group of 8, with 3 teenagers, me- who's 40, and then nobody else is under the age of 60 (I'm pretty sure). Nobody writes fantasy, which is my genre of choice, so I don't feel entirely satiated by the group. I'd love to supplement it with others more common to my genre. I'm thinking Skype would be a good option, since I have no fantasies of finding a group like me in my tiny mountain village... And I'm not sure I'm willing to drive 3 hours to the nearest B&N...

Barbara Ann Wright said...

I'm proud to say I have a fabulous critique group, and that's not just cuz I'm one of the founders. ^_^ We meet in person, weekly. We've been going strong for about five years now, and I hope it will be so for a long time to come.

Falen said...

Kay - i'd be intereseted in hearing how you found your crit groups

G - i hear that. I could use a few more beta readers and i have no idea where to even start with that...

Zen - awwww! If you were still in MN you could totes come to ours!

Barbara - it's so awesome that you can meet weekly! I wish we could do that but alas, it is not currently in the cards. I don't remember how long ours has been going - 7? 8 years?

DL Hammons said...

One of the problems with living in BFE is that you have to drive miles and miles to find a decent critique group. *Sigh*

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

That cartoon is hilarious. I'm in two crit groups, and they have a lot more to say than that! One meets in a cafe and the other in a member's home. I enjoy the companionship, as well as the sharing of work. I also beta read some people's work by email. I love it all.
Anyone who writes children/YA lit can join SCBWI and find other people to form crit groups with.

Al said...

I've got an award for you at my blog.

Al

Publish or Perish

Falen said...

DL - yeah that would indeed stink and in that case i would be a proponent of online crits usign skype perhaps

Tricia - i wish SFWA was as easy to join as SCBWI or RWA - they seem to give their members so many useful perks

Al - thanks!

Your Friendly Neighborhood Palindrome said...

I prefer meeting in person so you & Teebore can see the salty teenage tears running down my face when you critique a piece. mmmm, salty.

Falen said...

Palindrome - yesss...i exist off your tears...

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