There’s something about being in a room with other writers—the inspiration, accountability, and fun. I spent a long time looking for free writing groups near me, so I understand how challenging it can be. I live in rural East Tennessee, and the nearest writing groups require a two-hour round trip.
In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of joining free writing groups, how to locate them, and tips for making the most out of the experience. And I’ll tell you about my solution to the struggle of finding a solid group of writers in your area.
Where to Find Free Writing Groups Near Me
Let’s cover some of the most popular platforms for finding and creating local writing groups. Remember that the quality of a writing group depends on the leaders and members, but each platform does have pros and cons.
|– Well-established platform
– Allows for in-person and virtual meetings
|– $28 per month for each group
– Not designed specifically for writers
– Few options in rural areas
|– Most people have a Facebook account
|– Oversaturated and negative
– Full of distractions
– At the mercy of the algorithm
|– Specific to your area
– May offer organizational support
|– Inconsistent availability
– Less accessible for those in rural areas
|– Developed specifically for readers and writers
– Completely free to join and create writing groups and book clubs
– Supports in-person and virtual groups
|– New platform with a smaller community*
* You can help us fix that! Join the Inkbury community.
Meetup is a well-established platform for groups and gatherings of all kinds, from hiking to social outings. While Meetup is free for attendees, organizers have to pay a monthly fee. This fee makes Meetup less than ideal for creating small groups and contributes to the lack of access in rural areas.
We all know about Facebook groups. They were once a great way of gathering like-minded folks, but changes to Facebook’s algorithms have made it much less useful for establishing small groups. If you hope to create a Faceboook group and see writers come running, you’re likely to be disappointed.
Plus, let’s face it: Facebook isn’t the most positive environment. Besides the fact that many of us have moral issues supporting Meta, Facebook has turned into a hive us negativity and echo chambers. It’s distracting for writers and is overall not the best place to host a writing group.
Many local writing guilds and organizations help members establish and promote writing groups. Libraries and bookstores may also host writing groups or nights for creatives. This can be a wonderful route. However, these groups are generally located in cities and may not be accessible for writers in rural areas. They may also be more eclectic than many of us want—with poets, fiction writers, nonfiction writers, indie authors, and traditional authors all tossed into the same groups.
Inkbury is a new platform, designed specifically for writing groups and book clubs. It is free to use; create and join as many groups as you like. Inkbury supports in-person and virtual groups. (It even has built-in Zoom functionality, so you can hold virtual meetings directly on the platform.)
I created Inkbury to improve the accessibility of writing groups. It was truly a selfish endeavor, driven by my own desire for a tight-knit writing group!
Benefits of Joining Free Writing Groups
Enhance your writing skills. Joining a free writing group can help you become a better writer. Many groups involve peer critiques, and group members may help you learn about resources for developing your craft.
Build a supportive community. A tight-knit group of writers can help you face challenges, celebrate successes, and stay on track to reach your writing goals.
Stay accountable. Knowing that you have a group to be accountable to can foster discipline and commitment to your writing projects. The group becomes a motivating force, pushing you to meet your goals.
Tips for Making the Most of Free Writing Groups
Participate. Engage actively in group discussions, share your work, and provide feedback to others. Active participation fosters a sense of community and ensures you get the most out of your group.
Be open to feedback. Consider positive and constructive feedback from group members. Use it as a tool for improvement and growth, and remember that constructive criticism is meant to support you.
Set writing goals. Establish realistic writing goals and share them with the group. This not only keeps you accountable but also allows others to support you in achieving your objectives.
How to Start Your Own Free Writing Group
The easiest way to start a free writing group is to join Inkbury. Make a free account, and then create your group. You can create a virtual or in-person group and define whether you’re accepting new members.
Then, wait for writers to find you! You can also search for writers who would be a good fit for your group. Search by writing goals, publication status, and whether they are actively seeking a new writing group.
Finding Free Writing Groups Near Me
Joining or creating a writing group can help you become a better writer and connect with folks who will support your writing goals—whether that’s publication, finishing a major project, or just writing consistently.
There are plenty of options for finding a local or in-person writing group, but if you’re looking for a platform designed specifically for writers and readers, Inkbury is your best bet. Create a free Inkbury account and find your people.
Are free writing groups suitable for beginners?
Absolutely! Free writing groups welcome writers of all levels, providing a supportive environment for beginners to learn and grow. The best writing groups for beginners comprise writers of similar experience levels.
What if I can’t attend every meeting?
Most groups understand scheduling conflicts. Communicate your availability before committing to joining a group, since some group structures may require more participation than others.
Some groups encourage or require members to share their work, while other groups just meet to write. Decide what you need from a group, and find one that fits your requirements and comfort level. (Or start your own writing group.)
Can I join multiple writing groups?
Sure, you can join multiple groups to diversify your writing experience and connect with a broader community. Just remember not to stretch yourself too thin. Make sure you have the time and energy to contribute positively to every group you join.
How do I start my own writing group?
The easiest way to start your own writing group is with Inkbury. Just create an account and click “Create Group.”