Why join a writers’ group? Everyone needs feedback before trying to submit to an agent or before publishing their work for the world. Writers’ groups can be the first step toward your becoming a professional. They also provide networking opportunities, friendships when you need support, ways to find out about writing conferences, and more.
A great place to find a writers’ group is at a writers’ conference, where you can ask around regarding who else is looking for a group or more members for theirs. The in-person connection will go a long way toward helping you feel out potential critique groups/partners. You could also try connecting with fans of writing/writer websites. Obviously social media sites are another option here as well, as there are dozens of groups and forums for writers there. You might also try your local library, and definitely a writing organization to find a local chapter’s writing group. (A few online critique resources are listed below, but organizations can connect you to local groups.) But before joining a group, be aware of the time commitment, feedback protocol, the general pros and cons, and how to bow out politely if the group isn’t right for you. (See the Appendix podcast for a discussion of such issues.)
Nanowrimo is the website that sponsors the annual November writing event honored the world over, in which participants write a novel in a month! Even better, this site’s groups encourage each other to accomplish the goal, and they are broken down by geography and genre, so there are good chances you might find a writing group here (either to join or to form).
Writer’s BBS is the International Writers Community and hosts active forums and writing challenges.
Authonomy is an online forum where writers can upload manuscripts for free to get feedback from other writers, readers, and industry professionals. The site was developed by editors at HarperCollins, who have been known to read some of the manuscripts and make offers if they like what they see.
American Night Writers Association is all about LDS women writers supporting each other and networking.
Wild Poetry Forum An uncensored forum for sharing work and feedback with fellow poets.
CritiqueCircle A workshop for genre fiction writers with helpful tools for the process toward publication.
Long Story Short is an e-zine with writing tips and feedback from editors to writers who ask how they can improve their work.
The Internet Writing Workshop A workshop that offers personal critiques to participants.
My Writers Circle offers reviews for all sorts of genre, including poetry and scripts.
Mike’s Writing Workshop Writers can post work and ask questions here for feedback from a vast network of writing peers.