I want to talk about writing groups today.
As you may or may not already be aware, I do attend a regular writing session/group with two friends of mine every Friday. We sit in a bar, I write my book, they write their PhD theses and come four or five pm we have beer.
Now this writing group has been a godsend for me. It means I write more, I finish work faster and that I say to clients that my Fridays are not free.
This writing group is informal and private. But there are others you can join – see the full list here.
But bar the Centre for Stories’ Write Here group which meets monthly, there doesn’t seem to be one that provides a regular safe space for only diverse people to work in.
So this is where I come in. I and all the other people setting up Diverse Writers of Australia.
Diverse Writers of Australia wants to level the playing field in journalism and publishing for people who are discriminated against due to gender, ethnicity and cultural heritage, gender, sexual identity and disability. We want to set up workshops, writing groups, we want to create lists to send to editors so they don’t hide behind the excuse of not knowing where to find people, we want to promote the work of great writers more and give them more opportunities to be published.
And we want to support them. So why not a writing group?
So I sent out this tweet:
— Marisa Wikramanayake (@mwikramanayake) June 21, 2016
And there are people willing to support this venture, this first step into the world of what Diverse Writers of Australia can start doing. Both MEAA (the union) and the Centre for Stories have offered space for the group provided we can organise times accordingly, both of which are located pretty much in the CBD near transport options. Having raised the question at other writing groups, both non-PoC and PoC writers have become very excited and keen about the idea.
So here is my question to you:
How often would you like to turn up and write? Please vote in the Twitter poll or leave a comment below.
If we can get this going in Perth, it can then be set up in other states as we find people keen to run and moderate things.
Structure-wise, I forsee 2-4 hours on a weeknight with writing sprints and chat breaks and prompts for those who want them with of course food and drink. And a safe space for all.