Writing Group Wanted: 3 Ways to Find Your Writing Community
Picture this: It’s a Friday night, and you’re buried beneath a mountain of sheets. The bright screen of your laptop is the only source of light as your fingers fly furiously over the keyboard. You tell yourself that once you’re published, things will be different: you won’t have to do this alone.
Sometimes, it feels like we chase writing as though it is an exclusive club—a published book or an MFA to prove that you’re serious, otherwise your membership will not be accepted.
In this day and age, though, that’s not true. Published or not, the writing community is at your fingertips. You just have to put yourself out there.
Read on for three ways to get involved with the writing community, from least to most effort.
1. Watch the #AuthorTube Community
Level of effort required: 1/5
It can feel enormously intimidating to put yourself out there. After all, the act of writing is an act of vulnerability—to allow your thoughts to spill out across the page. If you’re not ready to share your work with others yet, that’s completely okay!
Sometimes it helps to simply see that you’re not on this journey alone. Fortunately, the good ol’ internet is a great way to find and connect with other writers wherever you live.
Not sure where to start? Here are some of my favorite AuthorTube writers and creators:
- Lynn D. Jung. She’s a Korean-American speculative fiction writer who shares writing advice and documents her writing journey.
- Sincerely Vee is your resident romance writer and vlogger. She’ll take you along her writing journey as she navigates the writing process while also being a full-time university student.
- Kris MF and Liselle Sambury. Kris, a newly agented author, is currently revising her book to go on submission and taking you along on her journey. Meanwhile, Liselle is the author of Delicious Monsters and the Blood Like Magic duology and has a lot of fun (and informational) content about her life as an author.
- Kate Cavanaugh runs regular word sprints and book-related livestreams over on her Youtube channel.
2. Take Classes at Local Writing and Literary Arts Organizations
Level of effort required: 3/5
When I was a kid, I thought that the only way to get a great writing education was through an MFA program. Little did I know that there’s a world of writing organizations that offer educational writing programs and community resources for writers of all ages and levels!
Though many of these organizations are based in cities like Denver, Seattle, and Boston, you don’t need to live in a city to join their community. Here are some great organizations to get your search started:
- Perhaps the most famous North American writing nonprofit is the Office of Letters and Light, which hosts the official National Novel Writing Month challenge. Hop into the NaNoWriMo forums to meet other writers and attend member-hosted meet ups.
- Over on the east coast, check out The Writer’s Center for their calendar of excellent events. While some events require attendees to purchase tickets, there’s a slew of free events, like their craft talk series, to explore!
- No money? No problem! Grubstreet has an especially robust fellowship program, which allows three emerging writers per year to access a slew of paid classes for free.
- In Colorado, check out Lighthouse Writers wonderful writing classes. Lighthouse even has focused community programs for BIPOC writers, queer writers, writers with cancer, and writers with veteran status. The organization also hosts quiet writing hours (both in person and on Zoom) every weekday for writers who want to write in community.
- Of the speculative fiction persuasion? Clarion West has your back!
- Want to write kidlit? The Society of Children’s Books Writers & Illustrators has a great list of offerings to get you started. The list goes on!
(And of course, what do you do with all this wonderful writing? Well, you submit it to F(r)iction, of course!)
3. Start on Social Media
Level of effort required: 5
It’s quite easy to make a social media account. (In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t have any social media at all.) But in this day and age, a time when social media is heavily commodified, the barrier for entry seems impossibly high—high enough to make you want to quit before you’ve even begun.
Deciding whether to engage with social media or not is a decision that you should make for yourself, and it’s okay to say no, especially if you find it harmful to your mental health. But for those who do like being on social media, it can be a great hub for finding inspiration, starting conversations, and making new writer friends.
When starting out, pick one platform—Twitter, Instagram, Discord, TikTok—and stick to it. If you like texting, try Twitter, Threads, or Bluesky. If you’d like to share about your own writing journey with video or pictures, try Instagram, TikTok, or even Youtube. If you like your community to be a little more limited, try Discord. There are many great public servers that you can join.
Social media can be a bit more difficult because there are no rules. If you want to meet other writers, you are responsible for putting yourself out there and making opportunities for yourself.
Whatever path you choose to pursue, here are a couple of tenants to hold yourself to while you’re first starting out:
1. Give as much as you receive.
The foundation of any lasting relationship is reciprocity, and the most fulfilling community is one where everyone pitches in. If someone comments on your post, try to respond! If someone offers to read your work, offer to read something of theirs, too! Do unto others as you want others to do unto you.
2. Put yourself out there, even when it feels uncomfortable.
The hard truth is that not everyone will want to be friends with you. Rejection is natural; and oftentimes, it’s less about you and more about where the other person is at—and that’s completely okay! Don’t be afraid to reply to someone’s Instagram story or comment on their post. Email your classmate and ask them to get coffee sometime, or—if you’ve got time—ask them if they’d like to be critique buddies. If you continue to stay authentic, you will eventually find the right people.
In a world that is rapidly becoming more and more interconnected, opportunities to bond are more abundant than ever; you just need to know where to look. So go forth: experiment, explore, and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there! Write on, writers.