If you are someone who likes to write, then joining a writers’ group can be an invaluable experience since it gives you the opportunity to do a number of things:
firstly, it enables you to meet with other writers and gain advice on publishing, editing and all the other technical aspects of getting your work out into the world of readers;
secondly, it’s a safe space to receive constructive criticism on your work – some groups have the facility for writers to submit their work anonymously for feedback, which can be a lot less scary than everyone knowing it’s your story in the first place;
thirdly, it gives you an opportunity to see your work in print as most writers’ groups these days also publish members’ work – either on a website or in the form of a printed anthology. For people who may be struggling to complete the first novel they’ve been working on for years, this is a good way to introduce your writing to the general public in short story form.
I’ve been lucky enough to have had six short stories accepted by various anthologies over the past few months. (I’ve also had several rejected, but we won’t dwell on those.) The first one to be published is ‘City of Hope’, the second anthology from the Birmingham Writers’ Group, available from Amazon. (I’d add the link, but for some reason, I can only find the French and Spanish Amazon links and not the UK one.)
I’ve already bought my copy and it’s just as exciting and inspiring to see the stories of the people I’ve known since I joined the group in March this year as it is to see my own. A number of the writers have also published, or are set to publish, full length novels, so I would recommend buying this anthology and deciding which authors you’d like to read more of. If you’re having trouble locating the book, type in ‘City of Hope’ and David Croser (one of the editors) and you should be fine.
To summarise: if you’re someone who enjoys writing or would like to start writing, join a local writers’ group; and check out the Birmingham Writers’ Group anthologies (last year’s offering was called ‘City of Night’) on Amazon.