Writing is not a simple endeavor. It takes practice, patience, and a plethora of creativity. It can easily become frustrating and tiresome, but the start-to-finish creative process is one of the most exhilarating personal experiences. For some, it’s a personal passion that is done specifically for oneself. There are healing powers in the written word and those people use that to their advantage. Others want their words to entertain and inspire, in addition to the personal healing powers. Those people yearn to improve their craft in order to reach a wider audience. If you are one of them (well, one of us), there are many classes and groups to help their pieces and improve as writers.
There are many writers groups throughout the state, though it may take a bit of research to find some. Writers groups may seem overwhelming to some, but there are many advantages. People in attendance have similar long-term goals and everyone is there to provide constructive feedback in a positive way.
“Because writing is inherently a solitary activity, getting feedback helps writers clarify their progress, refine the development of plot and character, and prevent them from veering too far off course,” says East Side Writers participant Mike Bilow.
Bilow says that the operating model of their peer critique is to give everyone five minutes to read a work in progress. He adds that the group asks basic questions such as, “What is your goal here?” and “Why are you doing it this way?”
Any serious writer should give a writers group a try to see if it is a fit for them. There are many benefits of peer reviews and it’s an almost guarantee that the writing will improve. There is also a hidden social aspect, as everyone has at least one thing in common.
“It can often help writers see alternatives that they may not have considered, simply because they embarked on a path with constraints they did not initially appreciate or even notice,” Bilow encourages.
Researching is an important skill that all writers must have. It is the second most challenging part of being a writer (next to actually sitting down to start writing something). We at Motif have started the research process for you with a list of writers groups. Now, get on out there and find a group that’s right for you.
Association of Rhode Island Authors (ARIA): Local published writers of both fiction and non-fiction, committed to raising awareness of the written works crafted by writers in Rhode Island and nearby communities. Provides a range of services ranging from editorial critiques to marketing and design. riauthors.org // firstname.lastname@example.org
The Collaborative offers creative writing classes with Eve Kerrigan. thecollaborative02885.org // (401) 903-0969 // email@example.com
David Dragone runs a monthly poetry workshop at Tiverton Library. tivertonlibrary.org/monthly-poetry-workshop // (401) 625-6796
East Side Writers meets each Monday (more or less) at 5pm at the Rochambeau Library. (401) 272-3780
Endless Beautiful has workshops for a cost and also features audio writing prompts. endlessbeautiful.com // firstname.lastname@example.org
LitArts RI (formerly What Cheer) offers a variety of workshops and events for writers, podcasters, and literary fans. litartsri.org // (401) 307-2450 // email@example.com
Ocean State Poets provides ongoing workshops to new and experienced poets. oceanstatepoets.org
Ocean State Review releases an annual print journal that includes work from national and international poets. Welcomes unsolicited submissions. Reading period March 1 thru August 1. oceanstatereview.org
The Poetry Loft provides ongoing and supportive workshops, readings, events, publications, and a creative fellowship. thepoetryloft.org // firstname.lastname@example.org
Rhode Island Writers Colony offers a two-week residency for writers of color. Founded by Brook & John Stephenson. IG @riwriterscolony // rhodeislandwriterscolony.com
RI Writing Project where teachers teach teachers. Their classes offer a variety of exercises and topics to help renew, reflect, and recharge. ric.edu/academics/ri-writing-project // email@example.com
Write by Night provides authors of all genres and skill sets a chance to improve their writing. They have a team of professional coaches and consultants who will work with writers to reach their goals on their level. Offers free writing consultations. writebynight.net