Posts tagged ‘writers groups’


Recently, I joined this writers group. Meeting at the Paoli library every Thursday, I have found it to be a source of sharing with fellow writers. Something all writers need.

Come join us and learn who we are and learn.



Saturday, August 20, 2016

12:00 to 4:30 pm

Paoli Library Meeting Room

18 Darby Rd, Paoli, PA 19301


You are invited to join us for a workshop that is designed for proficient writers and authors to learn from one another in an experiential and peer-to-peer forum. This 4½-hour  workshop will be broken into two sessions:

First session: 12:00-2:30 pm. Full group session.

Break/Network 2:30-3:00 pm. Please bring your own food/beverage.

Second session: 3:00-4:30 pm. Small group sessions.


The first session will focus on the writer’s  completed goals and lessons learned along the way that can help other writers:

Objective – Each person can speak for up to five minutes  about successes and/or difficulties in areas specific to their writing experience followed by up to five minutes       Q & A. If speaking please come with prepared notes.


In the second session writers will break into smaller groups according to genre and/or a specific goal for the workshop.

  • Genre
  • Editing
  • Publishing
  • Self-publishing
  • Blogging
  • Public speaking
  • Marketing
  • Distribution


What to Bring: A brief summary of your work/projects, in order for others to  understand your interests and the main goal you wish to achieve in this workshop.


Please RSVP to:    Melanie @


Space limited to 20 due to size of room.  There will be no waiting list. We hope to see you there!


August 13, 2016 at 6:48 pm Leave a comment


Lately, I have strayed from the purpose of this blog, writing.  I beg your forgiveness, although I promise it will happen again.  For I live in a world which I understand less and less, and however much off the mark, I have opinions.

For now, however, I am back on course and thoughts of writing flow from my pen.  The subject of this piece, as you can see from above, is criticism and critique.

In the early stages of your career, and it never ceases, criticism is its life’s blood, for with other’s help and guidance, that is how your work grows and matures.  Although, always remember you are the creator of the work and the final ‘say’ is yours.  As a writer it is essential that you believe in yourself and your work, but be able to take criticism and judge it for what it is worth.  It is your task to sort through other’s opinions and select which are valid and which are not.  It is important to share your work with other, and people you know and respect.  But consider their credentials.

I know your mother most likely meets these two requirements, and wants to read your earliest draft.  But when she raves, understand that she has a bit of a bias.  Then there is your close friend who dropped out of high school and has read nothing but comic books since.  Need I say more?

What I suggest as a source of criticism and support is a writers group, for in addition of reviewing your work they can empathize with your journey to becoming and author.  But most important, find a group that offers constructive criticism and able to provide suggestions which improve your work.

Research the local writing groups.  You will be amazed at how many writers live in your community.  If you are unsuccessful in locating other writers, do not give up hope.  There exists a host of online sites serving the same purpose.  What follows is a sample of what is available.


The first is Critters Workshop.


Next, Absolute Write, less than critique, more and essential for writers.


My Writers Circle


The Young Writers Society

I’m not sure about this site, but obviously never used it. Be careful!

Critique Circle


Marketing to writers sometimes feeds as an ‘ego centric’ scam, promising but never delivering. As in all things in life, be careful. If it is too good to be true, walk away. I say this for the sites here appeared in Writers Digest. Some years ago, I checked Preditors & Editors for a list of agents appearing in their classified section. Preditors & Editors suggested you stay away from all of them.




November 30, 2015 at 10:29 pm Leave a comment


Continuing on my white noise theme in the publishing world, I feel self-publishing has, as most things do, some good and some not so good points.

Self-publishing gives a new slant to ‘freedom of speech’. Anyone and I mean anyone can publish what they want, the good the bad and the ugly, for perhaps little or no expense and sell it to the public. In future posts I will explore self-publishing options for my and my readers’ benefit. However, before I tackle that subject, I want to delve into the process of finding a publisher (I’ve already begun that task) and an agent.

Now, back to self-publishing and white noise.

I’m sure it’s my lack of confidence, or maybe my upbringing in the scientific world, but I need verification from someone knowledgeable in publishing that what I write is worthy of publication. That is the cross I bear, but I’m learning to throw-off this burden, at least to some extent.

You see, the problem I have with self-publishing is that there is no gatekeeper. With over 435,000 works self-published last year the white noise in publishing has become a deafening roar. I know, everyone has a book in them but let’s be honest, sometimes that’s where it should stay. Then again, who has the right to make that judgment? See the conundrum.

In the past, the only way to be published, other than by a recognized publisher, was by a vanity press. By using a vanity press, you could fill your garage or basement with copies of your work and come away from the experience hundreds or thousands of dollars poorer. For the most part, the vanity press is all but gone, but not totally. What it has done is morphed into companies advertising in writer’s magazines offering to publish your work for perhaps a few hundred dollars or so. They have traded the profits made by a few paying a great deal to a great number paying a lot less. In the future I want to explore how you can bypass them and publish on your own.

Now, here’s where I make some enemies, but isn’t that what life’s all about?

Of the 435,000 works published last year, how many would have found a home with a traditional publisher. I ask myself, when I look at my own work, is there anyone who would pay money to read this other than my family or friends. That should be your litmus test if you really want to become a writer. Publishing a book might stroke your ego, but will it contribute anything.

I met an author last year who told me she is now self-publishing. However, she first published with established publishers, built a reputation, and now publishes on her own. That path has merit, in my eyes.

Another interesting observation I saw in a writer’s magazine was how self-publishing may hurt those beginning a long-term career. A side note, I recently had a story accepted and after it was accepted I decided to read it one last time. I had written it sometime ago and, at times being a bonehead, failed to read it before sending it off. I found the writing ‘lacking’ and told the publisher they would receive an improve version. The point is, we improve with experience. That is the point made in the article. The reason the career-minded writer should be careful about self-publishing their early work is that if they take the next step and decide to seek out a traditional publisher and that publisher is interested in taking them on, they will consider the writer’s self-published an example of their skill. Do you get the point? Your name is attached to your work, your true name in most cases, and that work is how your writing will be judged.

Finally, if you do decide to self-publish, PLEASE! PLEASE! have someone other than your mother or closest friend read your work. Preferably someone who has read a great deal and will give you an honest opinion. This is where, if you are sincere about your craft, a good writers group comes into play. If there isn’t a group you can join, there are opportunities to get online critiques where you can exchange work with other writers. Another benefit of critiquing someone else’s work is the process tends to improve your own skills.

Hope I haven’t ruffled too many feathers, and that my comments will help turn the white noise in publishing into joyful music.

October 20, 2014 at 11:42 pm Leave a comment


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