Forum Friday: Are you part of a writing group?

On Tuesday I met with a newly-formed writing group, and it got me thinking: there is a JUNGLE of diversity out there when it comes to writerly union and critique.

So I thought I would ask the online community: Do you participate in a writing group? If so, tell us about it. What is the format like? Do you meet in person? How often? What materials, if any, do you exchange? What is expected of you? What do you like most about it?

As for me, this group I recently met with, unlike any group/class/workshop I had ever participated in before, was all oral. Nobody read anybody’s work beforehand; the writers simply assembled, and everybody who wanted feedback on something was given fifteen minutes to read their work aloud and accept and discuss verbal feedback. That was also different from what I’d experienced before; in class settings we always had a ‘gag rule’ where the author wasn’t allowed to comment on his or her work during critique. With this format we were able to ask questions of the listeners.

I think there are pros and cons to any given format, but what here’s what I like best about this one: anyone can bring something in and test-pilot before an impartial panel!