Saturday, February 29, 2020

The Best Online Writing Group Ever


All through February, we’ve shared some of our favorite Writing and Critique Partnerships Ever. I’m ending the month by talking about a few of my favorite online groups, which I enjoy much more than live meetups.


About fifteen years ago, I belonged to an online group called Book-in-a-Week. Every month, we posted goals, and were required to submit our word counts daily. A small team of moderators tracked and tallied all our reports. I didn’t actually work on a novel in these sessions, but cranked out a lot of non-fiction writing like newspaper articles and blog posts. Somehow, the group accountability was important to my productivity and success. I also met some really good writers there, including several of our Blood-Red Pencil team bloggers. Ann Parker was working on one of her early titles in the Silver Rush Mystery series, perhaps even the first. Before long, I became a beta-reader and occasional editor and writing partner. It was a small group of 100-200 participants in any given month, but it inspired many authors.

Alas, the group eventually folded, and for several years, my only writing group interaction was during National Novel Writing Month in November. I got a fair amount of fiction writing done, but I found the forums to be awkward and uninspiring. And, of course, it all lasted for only one month.

Then a few years ago, I stumbled upon a new and small Facebook group called Colorado Writers and Publishers and the big attraction for me was that it didn’t allow book promotions. What a relief to be free of buy link bombardments! Before long I became a moderator and the group grew to over 2,000 members. We share local events, write-ins, book signings and readings, but most importantly, the group is focused on writing. There are daily conversations about our writing challenges, questions that need authoritative answers, and participation in weekly, if not daily, writing sprints. (The group is available to anyone, not just Colorado writers, so do join us. Just remember - no book advertising!)

It’s noteworthy that Ann Parker participated in and even lead many of the group sprints and completed books #6 and #7 in her series! Mortal Music was recently released to great fan enthusiasm and critical acclaim. Watch for an interview with Ann here at the blog sometime in March.

In this new adventure in the award-winning Silver Rush mystery series, pianist Inez Stannert must track down a murderer before he silences a famous vocalist―forever.

Our next month's theme is the Best Writing Tips and Hacks Ever. We’ll share old and new, and by all means, if you have suggestions, leave us a comment! We all have special tricks and tools to make writing more pleasant and productive, and we'd love to read yours.

Dani Greer is a long-time publishing professional who is the founding member of this blog. She lives in the Colorado outback with her husband and too many cats. You can connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

9 comments :

  1. Thanks for the shout-out, Dani!
    I remember the Book-in-a-Week crew. I, too, liked the accountability and camaraderie. Thank goodness for the Colorado Writers and Publishers group on Facebook, which has a lot of the same vibe.

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    1. Tell Inez to get ready for an interview. :D

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  2. With technology's advance, having critique partners long distance has never been easier with the various chat functions in Google, Facebook, etc. I haven't tried an online group, but if you get the right one, it is worth it. Local gatherings, workshops, etc. can help you find remote and online critique partners too. So can genre-specific groups on social media.

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    1. Especially important if one doesn't live in a town. Two hours for me to get to a live group.

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  3. I'm sad that my group folded but the friendships that I made go on to this day.

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    1. It's very cool to keep our kindred spirits close, one way or another.

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  4. I haven't tried online groups, but since I don't have one to meet with in person anymore, I may have to check it out. Also need to check out Ann's new book.

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  5. Great post, Dani. Sounds like you benefited from both the first and present groups. Lucky you.

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  6. Since getting to a group in the area can at times be challenging, I am tempted to check out some online groups. Thanks for the nudge in that direction, Dani.

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