All About Writer’s Groups Plus On-Line Writing Resources

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I found this quote on Pixabay and it seemed oddly appropriate to my intention today which is to share with you some information and advice about joining a writer’s group, and to inform you about Virginia Bergin’s forthcoming scheduled talk at Cambridge Writers, in December, debut author of sci-fi, apocalyptic/dystopian horror-thrillers, The Rain, and The Storm.

Writing Tip: Don’t wait for the storm to pass, don’t wait for the writer’s groups and opportunities to come to you, go out and find them, even if it is pouring with rain and you’d rather stay in and watch telly! Go out, switch the telly off, learn new skills, discover new friends, dance in the rain if need be, sample all there is on offer!!

I am very fortunate, as there are several Writer’s groups here in Cambridge. I joined Cambridge Writers over two years ago, and I’m so glad that I did, I have found it a wonderful source of help and support.  I’m coordinator of the Children’s Writing Group, and the go to person if you’d like to find out more about the group: http://www.cambridgewriters.net/members/51_marjorie_mallon

So with this in mind I’d like to share with you my twelve reasons why I think it is important to join a writer’s group.

Reasons why you should join a Writer’s group:

  1. It enables you to meet with and share ideas with other writers on a regular basis.
  2. There are often special evenings with visiting authors coming to discuss their novels/writing.
  3. As well as this you might find there are discussion sessions on particular topics which may be of interest to you.
  4. You will meet with a wide range of people, this is a certainty, writers tend to be an interesting bunch of people!
  5. It tends to be a supportive environment, with more experienced writers, (some of whom have been published,) giving invaluable advice and help to new writers.
  6. Yes, Positive criticism is offered, but it will be done in a way that is constructive and helpful rather than upsetting and demotivating.
  7. You have the joy of reading out your masterpiece in front of a small select audience of fellow writers who listen attentively and then pass comment.
  8. No 7. may sound a bit daunting. I have to confess this was a bit scary the first time I read out my story  but you will soon find that it doesn’t bother you anymore. It is such a confidence building exercise!
  9. Often there are differing groups which you can attend, depending on the size of the writer’s group. Cambridge Writers caters for poets, writers of long prose, short prose, travel writing, and children’s writing. You may try forms of writing that you have never tried before, in my case I am now finding myself drawn to short prose, travel writing, and I’ve even written a few pieces of poetry!
  10. There are all sorts of ways to get involved, in my case I have taken over as coordinator of the children’s writing group. In my new role as coordinator I have been able to use my social media contacts to find a speaker for the next author’s event, Virginia Bergin debut author of The Rain,  and The Storm is coming to speak at Cambridge Writers on Tuesday 1st December:  http://virginiabergin.com/
  11. It is fun! You will meet new friends, drink lots of tea and coffee, consume a ridiculous amount of biscuits, cakes, and crisps, and might even go to the pub afterwards!
  12. It is far better than watching the telly, if you join I promise that you will never be bored again! Boredom what is that?
If you are in the vicinity of Cambridge, do come along to meet Virginia. Here’s a link to find out more: http://www.cambridgewriters.net/meetings
As well as this we are also very fortunate to have a wonderful script writing group in Cambridge that you can get involved in if drama is your thing. I have been along to this a few times and sampled what they have to offer and have to say I was very impressed. I even had a go at some acting, which was such fun: http://www.writeon.org.uk/

There are also a plethora of on-line writing groups too, one that comes to mind is Rachael Ritchey’s Weekly Writing Blog Battle.  I’d definitely recommend this friendly bunch of Blog Battlers, do join in the fun:  http://rachaelritchey.com/blogbattle/

Esther Newton is a writing tutor that I met with in person this August at the Bloggers Bash event in London. She has a great blog with lots of writing prompts, a weekly writing challenge, and writing competitions, and markets for writers. Check out her current Flash competition, get your skates on if you want to join in, the deadline is this Sunday, 15th November: https://esthernewtonblog.wordpress.com/flash-fiction-competition-2015/

Sacha Black, one of the principal organisers of the Bloggers Bash, also has Writespiration prompts, writing tips, and resources on her blog. Here’s the link to her current writespiration prompt:  http://sachablack.co.uk/2015/11/11/writespiration-66-2-sentence-horror-story/

Via Esther Newton and Sacha Black I found out about the Guardian Stephen King Short Fiction Competition, up to 4,000 words. The closing date for this competition is 18th December: http://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2015/oct/30/stephen-king-short-fiction-competition-send-us-your-stories

Dan Alatorre offers a Flash Fiction Challenge which you can get involved in: http://danalatorre.com/2015/10/09/flash-fiction-challenge/comment-page-1/#comment-2547

Rochelle Wisoff-Fields has a Friday Fictioneers event, a 100 words writing challenge: https://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/friday-fictioneers-2/

I’d recommend popping over to see The Secret Keeper’s wonderful blog and Writing challenges: http://thesecretkeeper.net/writing-challenges/

A flash fiction challenge from Carrot Ranch, this one has been recommended to me by fellow WordPress blogger Geoff at Tangental:  http://carrotranch.com/2014/11/06/flash-fiction-rules/

If you are inclined to writing poetry there are also lots of ways to get involved.  I’d recommend Ronovan Writes Haiku Challenge : https://ronovanwrites.wordpress.com/category/haiku-prompt-challenge/

Ronovan is also starting a new prompt this Friday, Friday Fictions Challenge, I must be psychic!! Here’s the link to his blog to find out more about this too : https://ronovanwrites.wordpress.com/2015/11/13/friday-fictions-challenge-1/

Also there are sites such as Wattpad, a free writing community for writers and readers: https://www.wattpad.com/

Describli, too, an online community “that uses writing prompts to spark creativity and connect readers and writers.”  https://describli.com/

And of course there is Nanowrimo, which I must confess I have never done!! One day perhaps, here’s the link to find out more about this online National Novel Writing Month: http://nanowrimo.org/

So what are you waiting for!!! No excuses there are lots of ways to get involved, either to start writing or to progress your writing.

No doubt numerous other bloggers offer word prompts and a range of ways to get involved, so if I haven’t mentioned you here and you would like to be on this list do leave a message in the comment field below, and I’ll add you too.

Hope you found this list of resources and advice helpful.

Bye for now, I’d love to hear from you!

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

Writer’s Quote Wednesday: Michael Morpurgo.

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This week I’m thrilled to be joining in Colleen’s Writer’s Quote Wednesday.
Here’s the link to find out how to join in this open community of quote enthusiasts: http://silverthreading.com/2015/09/16/writers-quote-wednesday-george-carlin/
My contribution for Colleen’s Writer’s Quote Wednesday is this gem of pure wonderment from Michael Morpurgo.

Encouraging young people to believe in themselves and find their own voice, whether it is through drama, writing or art is so important in giving young people a sense of self-worth.   Michael Morpurgo.

I absolutely believe this is true, and the photograph below, (which I’ve edited with Michael Morpugo’s quote,) is taken from my youngest daughter’s art work when she was still at primary school.

It is nice to keep a copy of these little artistic endeavours on my blog as they bring back memories of when the girls were little, that seems such a long time ago now! Both of my daughters are pretty arty, my eldest enjoys writing, art, and drama, and my youngest writing, dance and photography (which I would include too in the quote!) Being creative seems to run in our family! In fact my grandfather and my uncle had a photography business in Edinburgh.

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Here’s a trio of Georgina’s artwork from primary school, the one on the left and right remind me of batik, The middle one is very colourful and exotic too! Batik is a technique of wax-resist dyeing applied to whole cloth, or cloth made using this technique. It is found in various countries, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, India, Sri Lanka, Philippines and Nigeria. More about Batik on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batik

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The photo below is one of my eldest daughter’s artwork pieces that she did when she was studying GCSE Art.
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Author’s Bio – Goodreads

Michael Morpurgo is the author of many books for children, five of which have been made into films. He also writes his own screenplays and libretti for opera. Born in St Albans, Hertfordshire, in 1943, he was evacuated to Cumberland during the last years of the war, then returned to London, moving later to Essex. After a brief and unsuccessful spell in the army, he took up teaching and started to write. He left teaching after ten years in order to set up ‘Farms for City Children’ with his wife. They have three farms in Devon, Wales and Gloucestershire, open to inner city school children who come to stay and work with the animals. In 1999 this work was publicly recognised when he and his wife were awarded an MBE for services to youth. He is also a father and grandfather, so children have always played a large part in his life. Every year he and his family spend time in the Scilly Isles, the setting for three of his books.

I hope you like the quote from Michael Morpurgo that I have featured for Writer’s Quote Wednesday this week, and the magical artwork too!

If you are artistic or creative and would like to be featured on this blog, I will be posting artistic, photographic, writing, poetry, creative, and dramatic pieces, (written accounts for the drama please!) by youngsters in the age group 11-18. So do get in touch if you are interested in featuring, leave a comment below.

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx