Can the Loft help me find a writing group?
“Writing is a lonely job. Having someone who believes in you makes a lot of difference,” writes Stephen King, in his book, On Writing. I always remember this quote wrong, such that Stephen King credits having a supportive someone as making all the difference. A supportive writing community has made all the difference in my own writing practice. And in this, at least, I’m not alone. Many craft books and books on the writing life counsel writers to find a writing community and to get feedback on our writing. A writing group can be a great way to address both of these needs. But how do you find a writing group? Friends, acquaintances, and students who know I teach writing at the Loft Literary Center, often ask: Can the Loft help me find a writing group? The answer is, Yes! Because I get this question often, I decided to compile my response into a list and share it with you here. If you’re looking for a writing group, I hope you find this helpful.
1. Community Postings
Community Postings is a section of the Loft Literary Center website that allows community members to post information about topics related to the writing life, including writing groups. These writing groups are user-submitted and non Loft-sponsored. The Loft offers this online community board as a space for writers in the community to connect with one another and with the information they need. Take a look here.
2. Loft-Sponsored Writing Groups
The Loft also sponsors seven writing groups that range in topic and theme, from Black-Lines-Matter, a Black/p.o.c-centered group hosted by BlackTableArts, to 50+ and Writing, a group for beginning writers with at least fifty years of living experience. To join one of these writing groups, contact the group facilitator directly. Find a list of these writing groups here.
3. Happy Hour Classes
In 2017, the Loft began holding happy hour classes on Friday afternoons concurrent with the happy hour at Open Book’s first floor cafe, Conexion. Students can purchase a half-price beverage and bring it to class. Some of these classes are structured like writing groups such as Rachael Hanel’s class, The Creative Nonfiction Writing Group. For more information about happy hour classes, read this post introducing them:
4. Loft Classes
Classes are a great way to meet and connect with other writers working in your genre. Whether specifically structured as a writing group or not, Loft classes often create spin-off writing groups. Loft classes attract writers who are looking to improve their craft and to find a literary community. Some instructors specifically encourage writing groups to continue after a class ends while other groups form spontaneously. Each quarter the Loft offers a diverse listing of classes, which you can find here.
5. Loft Mentor Series
The Loft Mentor Series offers a structured, year-long opportunity to workshop your writing with a cohort of aspiring writers in groups facilitated by nationally acclaimed writers of poetry and prose. In addition to the scheduled meetings, informal writing groups often form and meet outside of regular programming. The Mentor Series is a competitive program that has an open application once a year. You can find more information about it here.
Over the years I have participated in a number of writing groups that have formed at the Loft. These writing groups have helped shape my creative writing as well as my proposals about my creative projects. My most enduring writing exchanges are with writers whose work I admire and whose opinions I respect. The creative partnerships that last do so, in part, because they are a mutual exchange in which I offer the gift of my time in exchange for the gift of their well-crafted and thought-provoking poetry and prose. And I hope my writing partners feel the same.
Glenda Reed is an award-winning feminist writer, artist, educator, and adventurer. She’s received funding from the Jerome Foundation, the McKnight Foundation, and the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, among others. Her work has appeared in Creative Nonfiction and The Best Travel Writing. Glenda is also a winner of The Moth StorySLAM. She teaches writing classes at the Loft Literary Center and at libraries across the Twin Cities metro area, and mentors through the Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop. Her in-progress memoir follows the years she set out to sail around the world by hitchhiking on sailboats. At a time when the backlash against women’s social progress and feminism is at a peak, Reed is writing her own true life story of one woman who charted her own course for adventure.