While there are a lot of great resources and communities for writers online, there is a magical something that comes from getting together with other writers in person. The most creative periods of my life have all been when I was regularly participating in events with other writers. For me, that meant a lot of open mics because I love performing and hearing poetry out loud, but I’ve also participated in workshops and taken courses. Everyone’s ideal writing community looks a little different.
For some folks, a writing community might mean a space to get feedback on their work. For others it might be an open mic or roundtable to share without critique. Or maybe your ideal community doesn’t involve sharing your own work at all, but instead soaking up material and advice from people with a writing career. What matters isn’t so much the format, but rather being in a space dedicated to creative work.
But how do you find a writing community? If you live in a small city or town it can feel like there aren’t any options out there, and in a major metropolitan area knowing where to look can seem totally overwhelming. To help you get started, here are six ways to find a writing community in your area.
Creative Writing Meetups
Meetups are like clubs organized around particular interests and activities. It’s free to join and you can search for groups based on your area. You can also add interests to your profile and Meetup will notify you when new groups in your area related to your interests are added.
If you’re in the Southern California area, check out the Coffee House Writers Group. They have several Meetup chapters in different locations and have events going on practically every day of the week.
Invest in a Workshop or Class
In addition to helping you refine your craft, investing in a workshop/course will introduce you to other writers. Another benefit is that paying to participate increases the likelihood that you’ll show up rather than decide to stay home and watch Netflix.
A few places to look include the community college in your area or a website like coursehorse.com. Googling “creative writing class adults” with the name of your city should give you a place to start. If you know what kind of course you’re looking for, like memoir or fiction, include that in your search terms.
Eventbrite is an event promote site where people can setup event pages to share and or sell tickets to events. You can search by location to find open mics, author readings, courses, and workshops. Depending on your area, you may need to click through a few pages of results to find the right fit.
Local Indie Bookstore
Many independent bookstores regularly host events, including readings, open mics, and panel discussions. If you don’t know any independent bookstores in your area, check out the Indie Bound store locator.
City Library or Community Center
Your city may offer writing courses, reading groups, or author events at the local community center or library. These are also common places for people to host events, so you can often find independently organized events on community calendars.
Poets & Writers
PW.org is full of resources for writers of all types, and has a “Find Your Community” section that includes information on Conferences and Residencies, Literary Places like historical sites and reading venues, and City Guides which are like literary tours of various cities created by authors and literary community members.