Safari Friday searching the web for writers and readers — a writing group with a difference
By chance I’ve just come across a Writers Group that meets about a quarter of a mile from where I live in a very nice pub (Brighton is blessed with a lot of very nice pubs). Nothing unusual in that but it strikes me that Brighton Plot Bunnies are a particularly savvy group judging by the description of the regular meetings on their website
There is a particular vibe going on at meetings. It’s hard to describe, even for a writer, but when we get together, everyone comes safe in the knowledge that we can join in with the discussion or not, we can relax after a hard day, we can talk between members or to everyone at once, and, ultimately, we all know we can trust each other.
For a writers group or a creative writing class to function it has to be a place of safety and I think Brighton Plot Bunnies are right to be protective about the atmosphere of trust and relaxed mutual respect they’ve created. A good group, a good class, is where you can talk about your ambitions without being sneered at, where you can take risks with your writing and get it wrong and not feel demolished by the mistakes you’ve made.
There has been a spin off from the group and now Plot Bunnies Pro offer a critique service, a line editing service and a proof reading service. I’ve no personal experience of it, but I am interested in how it has developed organically out of the writers group. Their roots show by an insistence on not only telling an author where he or she has gone wrong, but also flagging up where they have gone right. Writers need to have thick skins, but that doesn’t mean living on a diet of undiluted negative criticism. The cost of these services depends on the amount of work required; a little light polishing costs a lot less than a thorough spring clean, but as guide they generally charge £3 / €4 / $5 (including VAT) per 1000 words for each service.
When writers gather together anything can happen. Tindal Street Press in Birmingham grew out of a writers’ group founded in 1983 that is still going strong. By the late 1990s a publishing house was formed and they scored three prize listings with the first four titles they published. This short report reveals how it happened.
Have you ever belonged to a writers’ group? Was it a good experience?
Safari = Swahili for long journey.I am on the look out for anything accessible from a keyboard that educates, entertains, intrigues, raises a smile. Anything that helps a reader get through the day or a writer the next draft. Let me know if you write a website that you’d like featured or discover something that really should be shared.