Sunday, January 30

Write words - 5 months in...

In August I joined Writewords, a site for creative writers to share and discuss their work, paying £20 (annual) for standard membership.  Like most people, I'm not keen on paying to join websites, but this seemed to offer something that I couldn't get elsewhere...

I had been on a weekend course at Cove Park working on my short stories, and had been advised that getting peer feedback was essential to progress.  I had made some unsuccessful attempts to find a real-world writing group - the only one near enough meets once a week on a Tuesday, at the same time that I have to pick up my kids from school.  I hoped that WW could be like a virtual writing group.

An incentive was the option of a free trial, allowing me to join one group (groups are organised by topic e.g. short story writing, and have a maximum of 30 member) and various other limitations. Although the trial lasts a month, I liked what I saw and upgraded after a couple of days, allowing unlimited groups, uploads of work etc.

I quickly became involved in some of the weekly challenges on the flash fiction groups - the winner of the previous week sets a challenge to the group, such as a theme or keywords, as well as the word limit.  The other members were positive and supportive, often posting very detailed technical feedback.  These groups are lively, and the flash has been a fun form to experiment with (it also fits well with internet submission opportunities).

There are of course some negatives of the site.  The navigation took me a while to get my head around, and a 'random read' button - taking you from any page to a randomly selected piece of work from the archives - often leads to a very old piece of work and/or an inactive user account.

Together with 4 or five others in my village, we are hopefully going to start a real, face-to-face writing group beginning next month.  I think I've seen enough to feel that it is well worth renewing my WW subscription all the same.


  1. Link at top of this blog to my WW offerings, though most of it I have set to only be visible to other members, not sure why :/

  2. One good reason to make it visible to other WW members only is that some fiction sites consider it published if it's been publicly available on the internet, even if its on your blog or on a writing group. I once submitted work and was told that on googling the title, they'd found the work was on the internet. Turned out I'd forgotten to tick the 'WW members only' box on uploading.
    Nice site Neezes - have you added it to your WW profile? ( me) :)


  3. Hi! Yes good point - I have seen some recently that have specified this sort of a thing as an exception to their 'not previously published' rule.

    I suppose putting poems/stories onto a blog is also self-publishing on the internet.

  4. Neezes, I've improved my writing a lot since joining WW about the same time I retired. I find the feedback invaluable and the flash fiction prompts are a great incentive.

  5. I've only been a member of the site for a few weeks, but already I feel like I'm actually *doing* something to make myself a better writer, rather than just waiting for it to happen!

  6. Hi Sheila and Kim! I'm glad you've enjoyed it too. I also feel it has improved my writing. Well, I have been doing a course at the same time, so both have contributed.

    Another advantage over real-world writing groups is that it's easy to dip in and out depending on how busy you are.

  7. Actually, make that the sidebar! Love to play with the layout :)