Welcome writers! Listed below are writers’ organizations and groups to help you find opportunities to network and learn. In addition, be sure to check local bookstores, local libraries, and our Workshops & Events page.
A note about writers’ groups: If you are looking to join a writers’ group, you should be aware of the pros and cons. First, read these warnings by Jennie Nash about how sometimes a writing group can damage the writing process. In addition, the article also has tips on effective writing critiques and links to other resources.
In another critical look at writers’ groups, Michael Neff describes common characteristics of bad feedback –– from pointless praise to vicious criticism. He also provides three alternatives to writing groups.
Nevertheless, many writers have found writers’ groups essential to their creative process. If you are still keen to join a writers’ group, the blog ‘Publishing Talk’ has tips on how to choose a group that most suits your needs.
Finally, here are some words of advice from authors Georgette St. Clair and Michael J. Sullivan:
“Get feedback on your writing, and take it with a grain of salt, but if you are hearing the same thing from several people, consider that they may have a point. Be gracious about all feedback, even if you don’t agree with it. If you feel that someone is overly critical or just doesn’t get your style, thank them politely, but don’t ask them to critique your writing again.” ––Georgette St. Clair
“When you receive advice on a manuscript, don’t make a decision. Initially all critiques are grating. No matter how nicely delivered, hearing criticism is painful. Most people become defensive. They want to stand up for themselves and explain why it has to be that way, and what the reader clearly missed. I’ve learned that if you get defensive with people giving you honest critiques, you won’t get them anymore. So controlling that reflex is important. The other thing I found is to wait. …When I’m alone with my thoughts and no one can see, I reevaluate. The anger is gone, the embarrassment, and pride are all someplace else, and it is just me alone with the decision. Most of the time I realize she was right and I quietly make the change.” ––Michael J. Sullivan
Canadian Writers’ Organizations
BC Writers’ organizations
Victoria, BC Writers’ Groups
International & online groups
Writing Courses – See Events page
Did you find any of the resources listed especially helpful? Do you have an idea for a resource that should be listed? Feel free to send an email.
Note: Links and information are for research purposes and do not replace professional advice. Accuracy of third-party websites cannot be verified. In addition, links do not indicate endorsement.
Updated March 2018