Sunday, January 31, 2010

What Group, You?

The act of writing is by its very nature a one-person process. When the words are flowing from our thoughts, through our fingers and onto that page, we are in our own world. A sort of fugue state. Sometimes it's populated by people we've created, other times we're alone there too. I love that place.

But one of my great joys as a writer is to sit around with other writers and talk the language of our passion. There's nothing like breaking bread with people who understand the angst and the joy we live with every day. Unfortunately, that doesn't happen very often.

Here are some groups that feed me in between. Check them out, see what you think. And let me know if there are some I should take a look at for myself.


DorothyL is a wonderful group of writers and readers. As in any family, there are all kinds of different personalities that make up the whole, and sometimes there are squabbles. But as in any family, there are those members who are the glue. The ones that have the ability to gently smooth ruffled feathers and remind everyone we are indeed a family. What this group has provided me is the knowledge that a book one person can't stand, someone else will rave about. I hope to keep that in mind when the time comes for people to be talking about my work. And going beyond that, I've learned some things to both avoid and strive for as a writer.

For Mystery Addicts is a dedicated group of readers. No BSP (Blatant Self-Promotion) is allowed. As with DorothyL, this group is scary-good. They are some of the most serious readers in the world. It's worth your time to learn from their discussions and reviews. Plus, they have a Christmas card program, and own a little pub called The Moldy Cockroach where things other than mysteries can be topics of conversation.

Crime Scene Writer is a terrific resource place to begin to get the feel and facts right. It is populated by experts in police procedure, forensics, etc. It has grown exponentially over the years, and now I mostly lurk. They have extensive archives, and with a couple of key words, you can dig up all kinds of information.

Murder Must Advertise is a place where writers share marketing ideas. What's working and what's not. Strange things that happen at booksignings, and ideas regarding trailers and social networking.


American Christian Fiction Writers is a place to go to learn and grow as a writer. Members include the newest of new writers, multi-published authors, agents and editors.

Sisters In Crime (which also includes brothers) is a great group to interact with and see how other writers are coping, growing and working toward their goals. Mentor Mondays are special days in which a guest expert is invited to answer questions on the loop. From FBI agents to psychologists to private detectives, you will be provided good information and ideas.

Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers is a local group I joined primarily because I crave those breaking bread moments. Plus they have some really good workshops. When I learned that Chris Roerden was putting on a workshop, that did it. I sent in my dues. Through them, I've also rubbed elbows with members of Rocky Mountain Mystery Writers of America. Look for a local writers group where you live.

Just finished: Vanished by Joseph Finder. A winner!

Not sure what I'll read next. White? Sandford?

It's all better with friends.


  1. Peg, do you belong to Sisters in Crime? After reading your blog here I did a local search for writers groups and found there's a SIC group right here. I'm seriously considering joining.

  2. I am a member of SinC. I toyed around with the idea of joining for a long time. The idea of Mentor Mondays sold me. And Peg, if they have a local group too? I'd say give it a try!

  3. We belong to all the same groups, Peg, but you'd never know I'm there 'cause I lurk, lurk, lurk. Within SinC, I belong to the Guppies and that's a great group. I'm the prez of our writers' group here and we meet once a month, but I started a coffee group that meets every Thursday for two hours. At first, we just hung out and talked writing and now we've evolved into a little critiquing. We look at one piece per meeting--the last hour. I'm also a member of RWA (since its beginning) and belong to the Faith, Hope and Love chapter. That's another fav. Small, intimate, non-intimidating. I don't post where they threaten to slap my hand if I post wrong. :)

  4. I've heard great things about the Guppies. I really need to check them out.

    WOW. RWA since it's beginning? Not possible. *grin* My wonderful critique partner, Susah Lohrer, joined RWA awhile ago and is doing some editing for some of their members. She's very happy with RWA.

    The thing about posting stuff . . . I posted something goofy and incorrect on DorothyL one time. A couple of kind people emailed me privately. A few ego-types chose to (ahem) educate the entire group. I didn't really mind. After writing for this long, it takes a lot more than someone correcting my grammar to toss me over a cliff. But I loved the couple of members who came to my rescue. Loved them, loved them, loved them.

  5. Okay, I'm going to check out thelocal SinC group. They meet once a month, apparently, on the 14th, but I can't see the location unless I join. One you have to belong the the national SinC in order to join the local?

    Oh, and, what's Guppies?