I’ve been asked about writers groups in Shropshire (see my past blog on the benefits of local groups: https://jennyroman.wordpress.com/2013/03/27/writers-groups/), so here’s a quick plug for each of the groups of which I’m a member:
The first is a small but long-standing group – officially we call ourselves Newport & District Writers’ Group, but usually people join us through word of mouth, since we’re a bit rubbish at marketing ourselves! We meet once a month (traditionally the first Monday of the month, but as there’s just a few of us, we try where possible to fit in with the majority – so our next meeting is 8th Dec, at the Red Lion, Sutton, Newport, TF10 8DQ at 7.30pm (on the A519 between Newport and Eccleshall). Each month, we have a theme/genre/key word (for the December meeting, we’re writing something weather-related!) and members are invited to interpret the theme in any way they like. There is no specific word limit, though given that we each take it in turns to read our work aloud to the rest of the group, anything that looks like War & Peace could be a bit of a problem. Usually 1,500-2,500 seems about the norm – though we’ve had longer and shorter pieces, and sometimes poetry. In the main, we each try to write a stand alone piece (the majority are short stories), but sometimes we’ve explored longer pieces, and on occasions experimented with a ‘consequences’ style where we each write a part and then pass it on to the next person. There are people in the group who like non-fiction as well, so don’t feel that you have to stick to the short story format. We are a kindly encouraging group, who are also quite happy to have a chat and a giggle – though that’s not to say we aren’t serious in striving to improve. If you’d like to join us, come along on the 8th – we’re always at the table right at the back!
The second group is AWE – Antoaneta’s Writers – Edgmond (named after the lady who originally started the group but who sadly passed away). We meet every third Wednesday at 5.30pm (so the next one is this coming Wednesday 19th Nov), taking it in turns to host at our own homes in and around the Newport-Edgmond-Tibberton area. We have a pretty diverse range of writing experience – some of the group have had work published, some have gone down the self-publishing route, and others are just starting out with their writing. We aim to encourage everyone to improve, no matter what standard, and though not everyone is interested in writing for publication, we take the view that having a project in mind, or something to aim for, is a catalyst for good writing. As a result, we often choose topics which relate to forthcoming story competitions so that members can have the benefit of the group’s feedback before choosing to submit.
I know of another group which meets in Newport, and there’s a Shrewsbury Group: http://shrewsburyscribblers.wordpress.com/ and the Wrekin Writers: http://wrekinwriters.wordpress.com/ I believe there’s also a Ludlow group, and probably many more.
If you’re a member of a Shropshire based group, and would like to tell us a bit about it, please let me know the details and I’ll post a link. If you’d like to join one of the two I’ve detailed above, please post a comment to let me know. 🙂