The purpose of a writing group is to provide mutual support in order to increase the quality and quantity of its members’ writing, as well as to make the writing process more enjoyable. Research shows that all types of writing groups can lead to success but which one is right for you? If you and your colleagues are interested in setting up a writing group, consider the following questions:
- How many members will be in the group? Which disciplines will they be drawn from? How will you recruit them?
- Will you have a leader initially or later in the process? Will the leader rotate or be static? Will you invite writing or subject experts to guide you in the process?
- How will you meet? Will it be face-to-face or remotely using technology? When will you meet? Where will you meet? Will it be on campus or away from campus? How often will you meet? How long will you meet for?
- What types of activities will you do during meetings? Options include: goal-setting; writing (including freewriting, prompted writing, and self-directed writing); reading each others’ writing; offering feedback and responses to each others’ writing; discussing writing and/or feedback.
- What will you do between meetings? Will you write? Will you read and respond to each others’ writing?
These questions are adapted from Sarah Haas, “Pick-n-Mix: A typology of writers’ groups in use,” Writing Groups for Doctoral Education and Beyond: Innovations in Practice and Theory, ed. Claire Aitchison and Cally Guerin (Routledge, 2014).
The following resource may also be helpful as you decide upon a writing group formation that will best suit your needs: Kerry Ann Rockquemore, “Shut Up and Write” from Inside Higher Ed (2010)
Interested parties can also contact the Coordinator for Graduate Writing Support at firstname.lastname@example.org for further guidance.