4 Benefits of Joining a Writing Group

At the Writer’s Digest Annual Conference (starting next week!), we’ll hear from authors, agents, editors, screenwriters and all manner of other writerly experts about strategies for finishing your book, getting published, building your platform, learning new skills and more!

One session that I’m particularly looking forward to is the panel 4,3,2,1 Finding Balance through a Writing Group, in which a thriving writing group will discuss the benefits of working together on writing projects. Featuring the wisdom of Kimmery Martin, Bess Kercher, Trish Rohr and Tracy Curtis, this high-energy session will show attendees how the power of connection can propel your writing career, and the role a writing group can play in your journey. Knee deep in the genres of women’s fiction, creative nonfiction, middle grade fiction, and humor, these four engaging women will lay bare their ups and downs on the path to publishing, with concrete advice on how to find, nurture, and benefit from a writing group.

In advance of the session, I asked each one of the panelists to share their favorite thing or something they’ve learned as a part of this close-knit group.

Left to right: Bess Kercher, Tracy Curtis, Trish Rohr, Kimmery Martin

Tracy Curtis

I’m a former humor columnist trying to write a funny novel, so I can’t afford to lose my sense of humor—which anyone who’s ever tried to write a book knows can happen right around Chapter One, Chardonnay Two. My scribe tribe not only brings the emotional support, motivation and accountability, they bring the FUNNY. I mean, what’s funnier than four moms trying to write the novel that their school system picks as required summer reading?

Kimmery Martin

If you took away my writing group you’d sap my will to live, let alone my will to keep writing. They’re my everything. We formed serendipitously through a variety of chance encounters, but we’ve managed to create a multifaceted entity where we do it all: critiquing, proofreading, idea-generating, and every possible kind of crisis management. [Read more from Kimmery Martin here.]

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Bess Kercher

I’m infinitely grateful for my writing group. They understand the challenges of creating (and of mid-life) and want only good things for me and for my stories. This manifests in honest feedback combined with unwavering emotional and practical support. Their encouragement mitigates the intimidating aspects of putting my work out into the world. I adore these women. They inspire me and they make me brave.

Trish Rohr

Writing is HARD. Finding three women who  share my passion for writing and the written word is such a stroke of luck. I have heard before that misery loves company. Writing certainly checks the misery box many days, but luckily for me the company I keep in my writing journey is nothing short of a life saver. Without them, I have no doubt I would have pushed this passion further and further down my never ending to-do list. They show up every day. They write. They revise. They find success after failure. Every time we get together I feel a renewed passion and spark to keep moving forward with my own writing, no matter how slow the process may be for me. I would never even consider calling myself a writer without them.

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