How do you find the Author Group that’s right for you? The answer lies in admitting you’re not alone and that even the most solitary writers among us needs community. I have a very successful writer friend who has won many awards and received accolades for his work for many years. Recently, someone asked his daughter what her father did for work. She replied, “Daddy stares out the window for a living.”
The fact is, writers are like actors or athletes. We spend most of our time rehearsing and practicing and refining for that two hours when we see the true fruits of our labor. Actors need fellow thespians to watch their work so they can make emotional adjustments. Athletes need other athletes to play to one another’s strengths and make up for their weaknesses. And writers need a community to talk it out, spark their imagination, share their tips and tricks and of course, read each others’ work and help one another build and re-build the house that the story lives in.
What Exactly Is an Author Group?
An author group is a group of people who meet regularly to read, discuss, and critique one another’s work. Group members offer constructive feedback to help their peers shape their stories. An author group can be an in-person gathering, or participants might convene online.
The Benefits of Joining an Author Group
Attending your first meeting and reading your work aloud to a group of people might be intimidating at first. But once you overcome your fear and get more comfortable, you’ll quickly realize just how valuable author groups can be. Here are a few things you can expect from committing to a group setting.
- Feedback. Obviously, our goal as writers is to get our work published/produced for other people to read, watch, hear. As you craft your work, an author group is a safe place to share your own writing and get honest feedback. What’s working, what isn’t, what feels right and what isn’t making sense. Critiquing someone else’s writing can even show you ways to improve your own work.
- Acountability. You can commit to setting goals for yourself and share them with your group. When others you care about are counting on you, procrastination and writer’s block tend to stay at arms length. Your group encourages consistency.
- Encouragement. When you hit a wall at the keyboard, it’s easy to quit. An author group is like a family who accepts you when you’re successful or having a hard time. And they support and encourage you, no matter what obstacle is standing in your way.
- Beta-readers. Your group is made up of writer’s you respect and admire. These are the people who read your work in its infant stages and give feedback before you submit it for publishing or producing. Your group members will have good insight into the literary elements that make a great story, like structure and character development. A good author group has a foundation of trust.
- Process. An author group can help you become a better writer. Members can be at all different levels and can share their experiences and give advice on their process. Like a great cast or sports team, there will be members who have strengths and expertise that compliment your own. A writing group is all about support. A place where members can exchange ideas on their vision of the craft.
- Marketing ideas. Like it or not, writers have now become their own agents, publicity managers and marketing specialists. Being in a supportive author group helps manifest successful ideas and strategies to selling more of your work. Storiad has been a proud member of many of the best author groups around the world, helping foster marketing ideas and offering Forever Free marketing tools to help authors sell more books!
Finding the Author Group That’s Right for You
- Your local library or bookstore. Libraries, independent bookstores and Community Centers are still the heart and soul of where creative minds gather. Author groups tend to have a set time and day they meet. Find a group that fits your schedule.
- Writers’ associations. There are scores of local writer’s associations all around you. You can find author groups through these associations by genre (Romance, Mystery, Crime Noir) or by specialty (Biography, Screenwriting). You can also find author groups by location in every city in the country (and the world!).
- Online and social media. Finding an author group is as easy as typing a word into google. Meetup.com is now a wonderful resource for groups all over the world. There are groups for authors of every genre, including groups for science fiction, romance, crime, fantasy and so many others. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok. All of the social media channels are vibrant sources for any kind of author group you might be interested in. Just be careful! Make sure to research and vet a social media group before you join.
- Storiad. That’s right! Right here on this website, you have FREE access to a wonderful array of groups that you can join or create. Thousands of like-minded writers are on the site every day, talking it out, sharing their work and finding solutions. We’re not just the marketing experts here at Storiad. We’re also writers, just like you! We’ve created a vibrant, safe community, where all posts are private, there will never be any advertising and no one’s information will ever be shared or sold. Ever. We even have special free offers and deep discounts for all of the paid PRO features we offer. Check it out.
Jud is the VP of Sales and Marketing at Storiad. He was previously the Global Director of Sales at IDW Publishing, Director of Sales and Marketing at Humanoids Publishing and a proud bookstore owner and retailer for nearly twenty years.