My aim is to help those setting up new groups and to encourage and support existing group leaders. Contact me if you encounter problems. Let me know too, when something has gone well. If you find a book, a method or a one-off exercise that works for you, it is likely to work for other groups too. So tell me about it please, so I can share your ideas with others, perhaps in a newsletter.
Subject Adviser for Creative Writing.
Starting a New Creative Writing Group.
1. Check with your U3A Committee that they agree to the starting of a new group. They may be able to help with publicity for it, a venue & advise on timing to fit-in with other interest groups. They may already have a note of people who would like such a group.
2. Try to limit the group size to 10 or less. At this stage, you may be looking for members. Approach existing groups within your U3A like the book club, poetry, literature or storytelling for likely writers if this is the case.
3. The usual format for groups is that at the end of a session a topic/writing prompt is given to be written on by next time. Good not to lay down rules, especially at first, so a poem or story or an article are all acceptable. At the next session, people read out their work for comments from the others. Go easy on this until the group start to feel comfortable with each other, but say something or people feel their efforts have been wasted. Keeping numbers down allows time for everyone to read, but make clear it’s fine to come along if you haven’t been able to write this time. Try to allow time for a writing exercise during the meeting (lots of ideas in the Handbook...see point 5).
4. Download the current newsletter at the bottom of this page full of ideas, reports, competitions, news from other groups.
5. Download a copy of the Creative Writing Handbook, mentioned later on this page.
6. If you have questions about starting-up which are not answered by this page, e-mail me about them and I will try to help.
7. Let me know that you've set up a group so I can add you to the mailing list to receive future Newsletters
NEW ** Creative Writing Newsletter September 2023
How to Get Published; Some Practical Advice with Alysoun Owen
Alysoun Owen, Editor of the bestselling Writers' & Artists' Yearbook, has commissioned several books on writing and publishing for Bloomsbury. She has worked in publishing and literature in the UK and overseas for over 30 years.
In this special talk exclusively for u3a members, Alysoun shares her experiences and knowledge of the publishing process by providing advice about the options available to authors.
Your Unique Creative Writing
Writer Anne Ludlow, author of The Gentleness of Steel, outlines the basic tools needed for creative writing and how to use them, in a workshop for u3a members.
u3a Across Scotland Poetry Group
It is a lovely example of how well Zoom can work for writers. The members are comfortable with each other, despite the group never having met in person. There is critique of the work read out, all given in a supportive way.