So I've never been in a writing group. Outside of the #whidbeymfa , never workshopped anything

I kind of like it, at least what I've done as part of the MFA.

Since the first workshop, I've been thinking about how to start something like that locally.

But THEN I remembered I have a baby coming in like… 14 minutes. Hanging out somewhere for a couple hours every week, sipping latte and discussing character motivation… that's not going to happen for me in 2013. Or '14.


What about online? Specifically, a small writer's group for workshopping stuff via Google docs and Google Hangouts? I already do gaming stuff there, so I know it's viable with a decent mic/headset. I'm thinking 6 or fewer people, 1 submission a week (<20 pages, shared on Google docs, with comments open to those that have access), with an online one-hour Hangout every week to talk about the submission 'live' (with some basic behavior guidelines).

Thoughts? Interest? Puppy-like excitement?

28 Replies to “So I've never been in a writing group. Outside of the #whidbeymfa , never workshopped anything”

  1. Oh man, I'd dearly love something like this. However, I realize with sadness that I'm probably not a good fit for this particular thing because, while I do write a great deal, I'm really more of an editor than a writer. I'd LOVE the reading/thinking/commenting/discussing/etc part, but don't think I'd have anything very interesting to offer on the other side of things. Anyway… my point is that I think this is a fantastic idea and I hope it works out great for you!

  2. I'm with Dave Hill. I can definitely do this, and am looking forward to it. The experience was fun in college, but it'd be nice to workshop with active writers in a professional setting instead of a bunch of teenage students. :)

  3. I'd probably want to start it sooner rather than later, if only to impart some momentum early before I lose all mine.

    That said, you (Stefon) could hold off on when you submit something yourself, which (given the number of potential participants) could mean mid to late September before it's your turn in the woodchipper of love and support.

    Might as well start talking schedule. Since we'd be using Google hangouts, I believe we're working with a limit of 10 participants anyway.

    I'm not sure when everyone's time zones or previous commitments are, but here's what I'm thinking.
    – Either Sunday or Monday evening to meet. Start-of-the-week vibe.
    – 8pm Mountain Time. I can't do earlier, and later is likely impossible for east-coasters.
    – One hour, give or take, to go over the (two? one?) submissions for that week, and make sure everyone knows who's up next.
    – One submission a week means less to read/review, more time to spend on feedback, but (obviously) much slower rotation. Two is a bit more work, but everyone's got something worked on every month, at least. That appeals to me, but I what do you guys think?
    – Finally/again, starting sooner rather than later. If we could share our first stuff on, say, Sept 1 (first Hangout a week later) that would be good.

    There are pros and cons to sending out word docs vs. sharing a file on google docs and just having everyone comment on the single file, but I think I'm leaning toward that latter option, (though it'll be more effort for me to get on my Kindle for reading :P). Again, what do you guys think?

  4. Either Sunday or Monday can be made to work for me. I agree with starting sooner; I'll note that 9/1 and 9/2 are the Labor Day weekend, which may cause some scheduling conflicts for folks.

  5. Right: the Labor Day weekend would just be the first time anyone submitted something to the workshop – no Hangout then, so it shouldn't be too hard on folks.

  6. Guys, my next project is realist contemporary YA.
    Is this okay with folks?
    And Doyce, yes, this is a change from the middle-grade gentle fantasy we were talking about earlier.
    Plans. They change,or something.

  7. Course I kind of want to go to the colleges you all went to who had fun with this at college. My experience was a bit of a nightmare but it means I have a tough skin.

  8. I don't know if we'd want a low limit. If someone's got some flash fiction (or just a shorter chapter) they want to work on for a submission or contest or just for, then more power to them. Hell, I'll even take a stab at providing feedback on poetry, if that's what someone decides to bring.

    I'd say the real size guideline is "whatever size makes sense to you and doesn't encourage everyone to stab you with rental sporks."

  9. Would this group be open to the occasional guest hack/wanna-be writer submission? I'm more than happy to do any heavy lifting (constructive criticism) required to be considered. In short can I play, too?

  10. Absolutely. Basically, everyone critiques each other's stuff, and every 3 or 4 weeks, everyone gets a turn to submit. I'll send you more info in the form of a community invite, if you want.

    We'll probably be meeting (hangouts) this every Sunday night, for about an hour or so. I know you're on the road a lot – how often do you think that would be doable for you?

Comments are closed.