TRY OUR FREE APP

Write your book in Reedsy Studio. Try the beloved writing app for free today.

Craft your masterpiece in Reedsy Studio

Plan, write, edit, and format your book in our free app made for authors.

Reedsy Community

Blog • Perfecting your Craft , Understanding Publishing

Posted on Nov 19, 2018

15 of the Best Online Writing Communities for Aspiring Authors

As enjoyable and fulfilling as writing can be, the truth is that it’s often a solitary endeavor. While we might romanticize the focused artist typing away while imaginary worlds and narratives swirl inside their minds — authors know the truth: writing can get lonely. And moreover, when you’re working on a one-person project, it can be hard to remain motivated and accountable. That’s where writing communities come in.

Writing communities are the perfect place to find answers to your writing questions and to discuss the ins and outs of the writing life with people who actually understand what you’re talking about.

So, if you are tired of listening only to the voices in your head, take a look at our list of top online writing communities. (And if you're hungry for more, check out our more exhaustive list of the very best writing websites !)

Top online writing communities

1. absolute write water cooler.

With over 68,000 members, this is a large and highly active community. Here you can find threads on every genre imaginable, as well as discussions about freelance writing , the publishing industry, pop culture, writing prompts and exercises, and much more.

Perfect for: writers who are looking for a large and active community.

2. AgentQuery Connect

While this forum will come in handy for any writer, it’s especially helpful for authors who have already completed their manuscript and are wondering what to do next. The site boasts a wealth of information on publishing topics such as querying agents, self-publishing tips, and book promotion advice.

Perfect for: writers who are looking to connect with agents and learn more about the publishing industry.

3. Camp NaNoWriMo

If you’ve ever wanted to go to a writer’s retreat but can’t afford it just yet, then this site might help scratch your itch. Holding online “camp sessions” in April and July, Camp NaNoWriMo offers a digital space to encourage and empower writers at any point of their career. Here you can work on drafts, revisions, short stories, or any other writing project that involves word-count goals.

Perfect for: writers who can’t wait until November to crack their writing goals .

a creative writing group

4. Critique Circle

Feedback should be a vital part of any writer’s process, and this is exactly what Critique Circle offers. This members-only site allows authors to post stories in exchange for feedback on other people’s writing. You can also find storyboarding tools , writing prompts , workshops, name generators , games like hangman, and much more.

Perfect for: writers who want honest feedback on their writing.

5. Chronicles

As the world’s largest Science Fiction and Fantasy online community, Chronicles offers writers the opportunity to get together and discuss the latest books, news, and pop culture in the Sci-Fi and Fantasy world. This is an active community with thousands of threads that include genre-specific challenges, workshops, critiques, and even publishing and industry information.

Perfect for: writers interested in Science Fiction and Fantasy writing.

6. Facebook Groups

If social media is more your style, don't miss the chance to interact with your fellow writers by joining Facebook groups in your own niche. Look for groups with a strict "no self-promotion" rules so that it remains supportive and useful to your writing goals.

There are a lot of groups out there in a variety of topics that range from genre-specific writing tips to traditional and self-publishing industry news. Here are just a few of them:

The Street Team — Reedsy's own book marketing group for self-publishing authors. 10 Minute Novelists — a group for the time-crunched writer. Calls for Submissions  — for writers looking for publication opportunities. Fiction Writers Global — a great resource for information about traditional and self-publishing. Writers Unite! — an active group with plenty of support and motivation for novice and experienced writers alike.

Perfect for: writers who prefer using social media.

FREE WRITING APP

FREE WRITING APP

The Reedsy Book Editor

Set goals, track progress, and establish your writing routine in our free app.

7. Insecure Writer’s Support Group

Whether you are a debut or seasoned author, there’s no doubt that writing a book can be intimidating and rife with bouts of self-doubt. The Insecure Writer’s Support Group aims to help you overcome those insecurities by hosting a community of like-minded authors.

Perfect for: writers who have doubts about their writing and are in need of encouragement.

a creative writing group

8. The Next Big Writer

This is an international forum where writers can receive feedback on their writing and support on every other part of the creative process from drafting to publishing and marketing. The critiques are often thorough and many come from published authors. Keep in mind that there is a monthly cost associated with the membership, but it might be worth it to be able to bend the ear of published authors.

Perfect for: writers seeking in-depth critiques from an international audience.

If you struggle to write consistently, sign up for our How to Write a Novel course to finish a novel in just 3 months.  

NEW REEDSY COURSE

NEW REEDSY COURSE

How to Write a Novel

Enroll in our course and become an author in three months.

More than just a single writing community, Reddit has countless ‘subreddits’ where writers of all genres, interests, and levels of experience flock. While it may not offer workshops or tools, members can find niche threads that relate to their interests, critique other people’s work, and discover helpful sources of information.

There are so many different subreddits that you can get lost browsing them, but here are a few of the most popular ones:

r/writing — for general writing purposes. r/writingprompts — for user-submitted writing prompts. r/destructivereaders — beware, if you don’t like harsh criticism this may not be the best fit. But if you are willing to endure it, you will come out a better writer at the end. r/worldbuilding — user submitted fiction worlds. r/fantasywriters — for anybody interested in the fantasy genre. r/characterforge — the place to be for character building. r/writerchat — for those interested in talking with fellow writers. r/selfpublish — for anybody interested in self-publishing. r/logophilia — “the love of words and word games,” and that’s exactly what you’ll find here. r/freelanceWriters — for anybody interested in a career in freelance writing . r/books — because reading is just as important as writing if you want to be a successful author.

Perfect for: writers who want niche threads based on a particular interest or need.

10. Scribophile

One of the largest communities in the world, Scribophile offers workshops, tutorials, and critiques for authors in just about any genre imaginable. While it is free to join, only users who pay for a membership get access to all their features.

Perfect for: authors whowant to take part in writing workshops alongside writers of all experience levels.

a creative writing group

11. She Writes

With over 30,000 members, this is the largest writing community exclusively for women. Here you can find articles on writing, editing, and marketing for every genre. There are forums tailored to specific needs, like travel writers, writing about trauma, NaNoWriMo, and many other topics.

Perfect for: women writers who want a place to connect and learn from fellow writers.

12. Talentville

If your passion lies in screenwriting, then you’ll want to book a one-way ticket to Talentville. Here you can get feedback on your writing and learn the skills necessary to perfect your screencraft. Plus, you can work on and build your network of contacts: the site is also a frequent stop for industry professionals (like agents, managers, and producers) on the lookout for new talent.

Perfect for: writers whoare interested in screenwriting and networking.

13. Underlined

A writing community by Penguin Random House. While any author can find helpful information on this website, it’s geared more towards younger writers. It has a well-designed platform, quizzes, genre-specific information, the latest news on book releases, Q&As with authors, and even some giveaways and excerpts as perks.

Perfect for: younger writers who are looking for genre-specific information and bookish perks.

a creative writing group

14. Writers Helping Writers

This is a free-to-register community where you can find resources for writers, teachers, and editors alike. They offer a vast array of tools to perfect your craft, no matter your level. Their extensive creative library includes webinars, free writing and marketing tools, a thesaurus collection, story maps, idea generators, and more.

Perfect for: writers, editors, and teachers who are looking to build up their writing toolbox.

15. #WritingCommunity

Sometimes, all you need is a hashtag. And indeed, Twitter's own #WritingCommunity is one of the most robust writing collectives on the web. Ask a question, and it'll almost certainly get answered (without a lot of Twitter's trademark snark). The key here is to keep your questions concise, reply often to others, and don't go crazy with other hashtags. The community can tell if you're just thirsty for RTs. Perfect for: writers who are finally ready to use Twitter for good — and not just for procrastinating.

Do you belong to a writing community? Which one is your favorite one? Add yours in the comments below!

13 responses

27/11/2018 – 22:42

Very useful post. Thanks for this. I will be linking to it on my blog.

Dr Jack Edward Effron says:

18/02/2019 – 16:40

You left out taylz.com. It’s truly free. They are not going to give you a rubbish service to make you join their pay site because they have no pay site. Your story can be 8,000 words. They are not going to force you into flash fiction of 3,000 words. One critique out, one critique in: no mucking about with “karma” or critiquing 5+ stories to get one critique. The great new idea whose time has come! And it’s British, not American.

marieseltenrych says:

08/05/2019 – 12:28

Reedsy, thank God you are here! I want to ask a question to other authors or self publishers here: I have been approached by OmniScriptum to publish my books (research) with them. I cannot find much about this company online, so wondered if anyone has published with them recently? Thanks Reedsy in anticipation. Marie

↪️ Reedsy replied:

08/05/2019 – 12:29

Hi Marie! Sounds potentially very shady to me. If you haven't already, check out our post on predatory companies in publishing. One of the rules of thumb is that if a publisher contacts you first, be very wary. I just did 20 seconds worth of Googling and found some people who had a bad experience.

Eunice Brownlee says:

I am a member of illuminate, which is a group designed around supporting women who want to share their stories but don't know how. The majority of us write non-fiction essays and memoirs, but we have a few poets and fiction writers in the mix as well. The overall goal is to support each other, especially through those harder moments of not wanting to write, or not knowing where to start. There are monthly themes and prompts, a weekly exercise inside the Facebook group, and cross-sharing of what we're working on. My favorite feature is the expert review, where you can submit any piece you're working on each month and you'll get quality feedback from one of the editors that manage the group. This group is perfect for anyone who is just getting started writing.

↪️ Brittani B replied:

11/02/2020 – 19:27

I tried the link multiple times both from this page and separately searched and was unable to access the site.

Harry says:

05/06/2019 – 07:51

Personally I think you missed out the best writing community: https://community.jerichowriters.com/ Jericho Writers is a free writing community that writers can safely share thought, make friends, swap work and get advice

Christian says:

08/08/2019 – 12:21

I only recommend Scribophile if you enjoy being coerced into groupthink. If you hope to get meaningful critique that will help you, look elsewhere. The critiques here are mostly SPAG, and it's forbidden to discuss your work on the main forums, except in the broadest, vaguest way.

Randy says:

18/08/2019 – 06:11

I have all my dads writing research and copyrights to 18 different books....all this was before the digital world .... many negatives photos ....every major story from all over the world with his .copyright . These are huge stores and his books are really well written ....what should I do with them .....incredible spy work as well

Ratih says:

27/08/2019 – 03:50

As a new writer this article is really useful for me. Thank you reedsy

Jennifer says:

02/09/2019 – 14:15

Hi guys! Great blog! Just wanted to let you know that we linked to you in a blog on the Peaceful Living Wellness Online Magazine :) It will be published on Friday, September 6th, 2019

↪️ Martin Cavannagh replied:

17/09/2019 – 09:04

Thanks! We appreciate that!

Kaylee Downey says:

14/02/2020 – 19:09

Um...what about Wattpad?

Comments are currently closed.

Continue reading

Recommended posts from the Reedsy Blog

a creative writing group

What is Tone in Literature? Definition & Examples

We show you, with supporting examples, how tone in literature influences readers' emotions and perceptions of a text.

a creative writing group

Writing Cozy Mysteries: 7 Essential Tips & Tropes

We show you how to write a compelling cozy mystery with advice from published authors and supporting examples from literature.

a creative writing group

Man vs Nature: The Most Compelling Conflict in Writing

What is man vs nature? Learn all about this timeless conflict with examples of man vs nature in books, television, and film.

a creative writing group

The Redemption Arc: Definition, Examples, and Writing Tips

Learn what it takes to redeem a character with these examples and writing tips.

a creative writing group

How Many Sentences Are in a Paragraph?

From fiction to nonfiction works, the length of a paragraph varies depending on its purpose. Here's everything you need to know.

a creative writing group

Narrative Structure: Definition, Examples, and Writing Tips

What's the difference between story structure and narrative structure? And how do you choose the right narrative structure for you novel?

Join a community of over 1 million authors

Reedsy is more than just a blog. Become a member today to discover how we can help you publish a beautiful book.

RBE | We made a writing app for you (photo) | 2023-02

We made a writing app for you

Yes, you! Write. Format. Export for ebook and print. 100% free, always.

Reedsy Marketplace UI

1 million authors trust the professionals on Reedsy. Come meet them.

Enter your email or get started with a social account:

Become a better writer and meet beta readers in our online writing group

Scribophile is one of the largest and most award-winning online writing communities.

Scribophile in Writer’s Digest 101 Best Websites for Writers 2014

Make your writing shine with feedback from other writers

You’ve spent a lot of time writing your story. But how can you make it perfect before you start thinking about publishing?

Scribophile is a writing group focused on getting you feedback on your manuscript. — in fact, we’re one of the largest online writing groups out there. Our points-based peer critique system guarantees you’ll get feedback from writers from all walks of life. You can then use that feedback to polish your writing before you take the next step in your publishing journey.

How Scribophile works

1 earn points by giving feedback.

Earn karma points by critiquing writing. Giving feedback to group members is fast, easy, fun, and helps improve your own writing, too!

2 Get feedback on your own writing

Spend karma points to post your own writing for critique from our writing community — anything from flash fiction to novels. Our writer’s group will give you detailed feedback on how to improve it, regardless of your specific genre, and all in a supportive environment.

3 Make friends and meet beta readers

As you participate in our writing group, you’ll meet and form relationships with many different kinds writers. They’ll become your inspiration, your encouragement, and even your beta readers, ready to help with your current manuscript, and your next ones too!

Scribophile was the first place I stopped when I went from being an I-wanna-be-a-writer to I-am-an-author. Now I have four international bestselling novels with major publishers, and when authors come to me I always send them to Scribophile. Genevieve Graham Tides of Honour and others published with Simon & Schuster

Join writing workshops and level up your writing

Our writing workshops are taught by bestselling authors, expert teachers, and industry insiders. We have workshops for writers of any skill level, where we cover everything from beginning topics to advanced techniques.

Our writing workshops are designed to be both comprehensive and transformational — they’re your fast track to leveling up your writing.

Some of our upcoming writing workshops

a creative writing group

Enhancing Your Writing By Engaging All the Senses with David D. Levine

May 25, 2024 • 2 hour webinar

Hugo- and Nebula-award-winning author David D. Levine shows you the methods and techniques master writers use to draw readers in by engaging all of their senses.

a creative writing group

Writing Action Scenes That Will Leave Readers Breathless with Carly Stevens

Jun 1, 2024 • 1 hour webinar with instructor feedback on your writing

Acclaimed author Carly Stevens teaches you how to write propulsive and impactful action scenes.

Our writing group welcomes writers of any skill level

Our writing group welcomes writers of all skill levels — from beginners to published authors, and every writer in between.

Each critique you receive on your manuscript is a fresh perspective for you to incorporate. Our bustling writing forums feature writers discussing the craft twenty-four hours a day — share inspiration, ignite your creativity, get support, and connect with others no matter your genre. Plus, our extensive Writing Academy is full of insightful articles on the art — and business — of writing.

Scribophile played a major part in helping me polish my novel for submission. I learnt a huge amount from critiquing other people’s work, as well as from reading critiques of mine. I now have a wonderful agent and have signed a three-book deal in the UK, a two-book deal in Germany, and a TV option. The book was also shortlisted for The Debut Dagger! Roz Watkins The Devil’s Dice and others published with HarperCollins
Giving and receiving critiques on Scribophile made a big difference to the quality of my writing. I learned how to write a query letter here and that led to an agent and a book deal. Ruth Lauren Prisoner of Ice and Snow and others published with Bloomsbury

No more writing alone — meet your new community

Sometimes, the hardest part of the writing process is how lonely it can get.

That’s why the most important part of Scribophile is our community of hundreds of thousands of writers from all over the world. No matter what genre you work in, or how far along you are in your manuscript, the friends you make at Scribophile will give encouragement, accountability, and will finally take the loneliness out of our solitary craft.

My years on Scribophile have given me a master’s level education in writing. The critiques are great, but I’ve learned as much from reading and analyzing other writers on Scribophile. I don’t think I could have polished my novel to a publishable level without this site. I’m an addict. Laura Creedle The Love Letters of Abelard and Lily published with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Ready to take the next step in your writing journey?

It’s easy and free.

Get the latest publishers and contests eager to read your writing

Our newsletter delivers a list of the latest publishers, writing markets, and writing contests directly to your inbox once per week, totally free. Unsubscribe at any time.

The Creative Writing Group

The Creative Writing Group at the NU Writing Center is a workshop-based collaborative of graduate and undergraduate writers, poets, novelists, and student authors that strives to provide an encouraging, fun place to share work with one another. Founded by Dr. Isabel Sobral Campos and Victor Hugo Mendevil, the group meets at the Writing Center in Snell Library once a week to share work with one another and receive feedback to polish their creative craft. In addition to their weekly meetings, the group embarks on off-campus literary day trips, weekend writing retreats, attends writing-related events in the Boston community, and publishes semesterly catalogues, thanks to their partnership with TOO MUCH THEORY!

Meeting dates and times vary by semester. If interested in joining, please contact Lead Workshop Facilitator, Victor, via email: [email protected]

thefussylibrarian

Should you join a writing group? Understanding the pros and cons

Posted on September 21, 2021 at 1:10 PM by Guest Author

If you’re looking to develop your writing skills, you may want to join a writing group. Learn what to expect from meeting up with fellow authors regularly.

Table of Contents

What Is a Writing Group?

Reasons to Join a Writing Group

Pros of Joining a Writing Group

Cons of Joining a Writing Group  

What is a writing group  .

Are you struggling to decide whether you should join a writing group? In that case, you’re probably already familiar with the concept. But to avoid any potential confusion, it’s still worth outlining what a writing group is. 

Simply put, a writing group is a gathering of people who are passionate about the craft of writing and meet up regularly — either in person or online — to hone their skills. 

You should note that no two writing groups are the same. They often differ in purpose, format, and overall approach.

For example, one group may be more informal and focused on simply giving members a place to discuss writing; another might have a strict schedule and exist to critique members’ work. 

Although authors debate the value of writing groups, many consider these communities essential, especially at specific points in the writing journey. 

Let’s look at why...

Reasons to Join a Writing Group  

Writing groups offer various benefits, which we’ll touch on in the next section. However, there are usually three main reasons to join a writing group:

1. You’re in search of support and socialization. 

If you’re looking to break out of your bubble, joining a writing group may be the perfect solution.

Writing is, by nature, a very solitary activity. Unlike other jobs that allow you to socialize with coworkers, being an author means you’re usually on your own.

But participating in a group gives you the opportunity to interact with others, experience a sense of community, and gain emotional support.  

2. You’re struggling with accountability.

You may decide to join a writing group if you’re having a tough time holding yourself accountable.

When writing in isolation, staying motivated can be a challenge. You’re at a greater risk of letting self-imposed deadlines pass by you.

However, taking part in a writing group can give you some much-needed structure, especially if you’re expected to share what you’ve written so far or update the group on your progress.   

3. You need feedback on your writing. 

Finally, a major reason to join a writing group is that you need unbiased feedback on your writing.

When working on a new project, you’re often too close to view it objectively. And getting loved ones to read your work in progress isn’t always the best approach, as they may worry about hurting your feelings.

But having a group of fellow authors to share with can give you some much-needed insight into areas of weakness.     

Pros of Joining a Writing Group  

If you’re still on the fence about whether you should join a writing group, you may want to learn a little more about the benefits. After all, it helps to know what you have to gain. 

With that said, here are some of the pros of joining a writing group:

It’s a cost-effective way to strengthen your skills. 

If you’re starting your writing career , you need to invest in your craft. But chances are you still have a budget in place.

In that case, you’ll be pleased to learn that joining a writing group is often an affordable method of developing your writing skills. Typically, groups are free to join — or, at most, require a modest membership fee.

And in the process of participating, you’ll receive invaluable feedback, education, and encouragement that will help you become a better writer.

It often aids in overcoming writer’s block. 

Another advantage of being part of a writing group is that it can help you overcome writer’s block.

Although there are many reasons you may experience a creative slowdown, engaging with your group members can typically resolve the core issue.

Meeting with fellow authors can give you a much-needed energy boost, provide you with fresh insight, and help broaden your horizons.  

You can get tips on the business side of writing. 

If you want to become a career author , you don’t just need natural talent and sharp writing skills — you also need business savvy. Fortunately, that’s something you can work on when you join a writing group consisting of members at varying levels.

Those who have more experience can provide you with tips on publishing, marketing, networking, and more that will serve you in your career.  

It can help you rediscover your love of writing. 

Often writing can begin to feel like a chore, especially if you’re working toward finishing a book . But when you join a writing group, you’re able to find joy in writing again.

After all, enthusiasm spreads. Meeting regularly with others, sharing in their triumphs, and getting encouragement can go a long way in transforming writing back into a fun activity.  

It gives you a pool of potential beta readers. 

One of the benefits of signing up for a writing group that often goes overlooked is that it can help with finding beta readers .

For starters, those in your group are likely readers on top of writers. Further, being in a group with them means that by the time you’ve finished your first draft, you’ll know whether you can trust their judgment and feedback. 

Of course, not everyone in your group will be up to the task (all you can do is ask), but it gives you a great place to start looking.  

To make an informed decision about whether to join a writing group, you need to consider both sides. Although there are plenty of benefits to look forward to, there are some drawbacks as well.  

Here are some cons to keep in mind:

Not all the advice you receive will be helpful. 

Giving feedback is a skill that needs to be developed. This means that you can’t expect all the advice you receive to be good, especially if a group is in its early stages.

Some members may not understand the concept of “constructive criticism,” whereas others may deliver vague advice.

Additionally, the feedback you get from those at or below your experience level may not be as helpful as input from those who have been writing longer. 

There may be some personality clashes. 

A writing group is like any other community based on a shared interest — it’s filled with passionate people who have their own opinions and egos. Because of this, there may be some personality clashes that result in arguments and hurt feelings.

Before you join a writing group, you need to think about how you would handle negative comments or pushback from other members.    

It requires a time commitment, just like any other activity. 

When you join a writing group (and truly participate), you must dedicate a fair amount of time to it.

And it’s not just the meetings themselves; it’s also the time spent keeping up with communications, preparing for each session, and traveling to the meeting place (if the group gathers in person).

Depending on your schedule, this may prove hard to manage. 

It’s not uncommon to stray off course without leadership.

It can be tough to stay on track if a writing group doesn’t have an official leader (or even an unofficial one).

Without someone in charge who’s committed to providing a productive, nurturing environment, the group can fall into chaos.

At best, the group can become disorganized. At worst, it can become toxic.    

Sometimes you’ll want to break the format. 

Depending on the type of group you join, you may find yourself stuck to a format that doesn’t always work for you.

For example, you may want to share a recent chapter you’ve written during a session when you’re scheduled to do writing exercises.

If there’s no flexibility in activities, you might not get the most out of the group. 

Takeaway  

There are many reasons to join a writing group, especially if your goal is to become a published author. But when it comes down to it, you need to consider what’s best for you, analyzing the pros and cons.

Hopefully, the information provided here will help you decide on the best course of action. 

And remember, if you decide to join a writing group, it’s important to look for one that fits your needs (and avoid groups that do more harm than good ). 

>>>Working on your book? Get a jump-start on learning to promote it! Download our Ultimate Guide to Data-Driven Promotions and discover how to leverage data to improve your book marketing results!<<<  

Categories: Behind the scenes

Tagged As: Writing advice

* Indicates a required field

  • Lost Password
  • Lost Username
  • Online Writers
  • Self-Publishers
  • Literary Agents
  • Literary Magazines
  • Search Groups
  • Browse Newest
  • Browse Most Viewed
  • Browse Most Populated
  • Browse by Genre --------------- Acrostic Adventure Anthropology & Archaeology Article On Writing Arts Biography & Memoir Business Child Care & Parenting Children's Chofu Comics & Graphic Novels Computers Contemporary Literature Cooking Crime & Investigative Current Affairs Erotica Essays Ethnic Experimental Family Saga Fantasy Fiction Haiku Health Historical Fiction History (Nonfiction) Horror How-To Humor & Satire Journal LGBTQ Limerick Literary Fiction Lyrics Metafiction Military & War Monologues Mystery, Suspense & Thriller Nature & Environment New Age Nonfiction Nonsense Novella Philosophy Picture Books Poetry Political Pop Culture Postmodern Prose Poems Psychology Regional Religious Romance Science Science Fiction Self-Help Senryu Short Story Collections Sociology Sonnet Spoken Word Sports Supernatural & Occult Teen & Young Adult Travel Western Women's & Feminist
  • Terms of Service
  • Privacy Policy

a creative writing group

  • Facebook Group
  • Facebook Page

Unleash Your Writing Power

How to Run a Successful Writing Group

So you’ve set up your writing group. Now what?

Whether your group is newly formed, or perhaps it’s been running for a while, here are some ideas that can help you inject creative energy.

1. Create the right atmosphere

In order to get into the right creative space, you need to feel at ease with your fellow writers. Make sure new members are welcomed and introduced. And get everyone to say something in the big group at the beginning of every meeting so all members feel involved from the start.

Beginnings to break the ice could be :

  • One good thing that’s happened for me in the last seven days
  • One thing I’m looking forward to this weekend
  • One accomplishment achieved in the last seven days (could be anything from cooking a curry to climbing a mountain).
  • One new thing I’ve tried – it doesn’t matter whether it succeeded.

2. Have an agenda

An agenda that roughly follows the same formula each time means people will know what to expect.

You have options but it could look something like this:

  • Welcome everyone and do a round the table check in (see above) that allows everyone chance to say something. This could include brief introductions if there are new members.
  • The secretary or person in charge of correspondence gives news of writing events, courses, competitions that have arrived via post or email. Members add whatever they have heard of or spotted in magazines.
  • A short spontaneous warm up writing exercise with read backs
  • Refreshment break for informal friendly chat
  • Read backs and feedback of pieces people have written at home. Or a group exercise designed to develop some specific writing skill with read backs.
  • Anything else anyone wants to raise and date and time of next meeting.

3. Start on time and end on time

This will encourage latecomers to be prompt and enable members to plan the rest of their day or evening.

4. Share the organising

If one person does everything, the burden is awesome. Eventually you might consider appointing different people to share out the tasks.

These might include

  • Secretary – a named person to receive and deal with correspondence and prepare agenda
  • Someone to send out reminders of meetings. This could be the Secretary or a different person
  • Facilitator to set exercises (or this might change for each meeting)
  • Refreshments organiser
  • Membership organiser – the role could be combined with…
  • Treasurer/Accounts organiser to open bank account and collect fees, pay venue hire if necessary. Some libraries may lend you a room without charge
  • Resources and library manager to look after any writing books purchased and owned by the group
  • Events organiser to plan days out, theatre visits, invite visiting speakers/tutors depending on how social you want to be.

5. Set stimulating exercises

Some sources of ideas

  • Beg, borrow or buy writing books and look for exercises that will develop specific skills. Try the library, bookshops, charity shops, Amazon and writer friends who may be clearing their shelves.
  • Google ‘writing exercises for groups’. There are lots of ideas available free on the internet.
  • Use old photographs of places or people, song titles, imaginary dialogue between two characters drawn out of a hat to trigger a story. Be creative. And enjoy!

Recommended books for writing exercises:

The Five Minute Writer Taking Reality by Surprise What If? Writing Exercises for Fiction Writers The Writer’s Block

6. Give honest feedback

One of the reasons people join a writing group is so they can have access to honest feedback. But they often report that their fellow-writers are either too nice or too negative about each other’s work. Both types of feedback can be equally unhelpful.

  • Too nice is bland, boring and gives the writer no feeling of honest appreciation when they do produce something that is genuinely good.
  • Too negative is discouraging and disheartening.
  • What’s needed instead is a positive atmosphere in the sessions that evokes honest, sensitive and respectful feedback. Comments should be constructive and a good formula to follow is two positives and a negative.
  • For instance, “I really liked the way your piece evoked atmosphere of the place (positive). And you built up a feeling of suspense and tension very well (positive). I think the dialogue could reveal a little more of the difficulties of the relationship, rather than using the narrative text to highlight the problems.

If people find it difficult to give feedback, brainstorm a list of criteria you might look at when evaluating a piece of writing and display it prominently. It might include:

  • Does it begin well?
  • What emotion/s does it evoke?
  • What particular words or phrases do you remember?
  • How do you personally relate to the piece?

You might consider appointing the two people sitting next to the reader to take responsibility for giving feedback before opening it up to the group.

Remember most writers have delicate egos and are fairly quick to criticise their own work. So you might introduce a ground rule that no one should be negative about their own writing, or apologise for what they read out. This will help generate a more positive atmosphere.

7. Celebrate your successes

When one of your members wins an award or a competition, or gets published in any small or major way, make it an excuse for celebration. A round of applause, a shared cake or bottle of bubbly. Do whatever works. And encourage your writers to aim for the stars. Who knows – one of them might be the author of the next best-seller.

For information on inviting Judi to run a session at your writing group, in person or online with Zoom click here

The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Writing Group Starter Kit

You’ve decided to form a writing group. Congratulations! The Writing Center has established this kit to help writers like you get a group going and help it succeed, right from the start.

Starting a writing group, especially your first one, can be a little overwhelming. To help your group get off on the right foot, we’ve put together this collection of handouts for your group members to fill out before the first meeting. These will help you break the ice, learn about each other’s writing needs and group interactions, and start to plan a structure and schedule for your group that will work for everyone.

  • Deciding How the Group Will Function
  • Personal Goals Worksheet
  • Writing Inventory Worksheet
  • About My Writing Sample Worksheet
  • Group Work Inventory
  • Schedule Inventory

Before the first meeting, everyone should read the handouts above and prepare to discuss their answers. They should also share a short writing sample (an excerpt from a paper would be fine). Of course, your group can modify this starter kit by adding other questions you would like each person to answer beforehand or subtracting worksheets that you don’t think will help you.

In your first meeting, your group might start by talking about why each of you wanted to join a writing group (using the Personal Goals sheet), then move on to discussing yourselves as writers (using your Writing Inventory and sharing your writing samples and the “About this Writing Sample” sheets). Finally, you might discuss your preferences for working together (using the Group Work inventory) and figure out a good time and place to meet (using the Schedule Inventory). All of these conversations can help you set some ground rules for your group, which you may want to write down, and will help you get to know one another as writers and group members. You might develop your own writing group “creed” at your first meeting to set the tone for future sessions.

It may be a good idea to close your first meeting by scheduling the next meeting and setting an agenda for it. Groups usually get off to a good start when the first meeting sets most of the ground rules, at least tentatively, and then subsequent meetings get right down to talking about and working on writing. By setting an agenda for the next meeting (who will bring writing, what you will work on, etc.), you can be sure that your group will start helping one another with writing issues almost immediately, and you can all leave the first meeting knowing what you should do between then and the next session.

Indigoextra - European SEO

43 Creative writing exercises

Creative writing exercises for adults

A selection of fun creative writing exercises that can be completed solo, or with a group. Some are prompts to help inspire you to come up with story ideas, others focus on learning specific writing skills.

I run a  Creative Writing Meetup  for adults and teens in Montpellier or online every week. We start with a 5 to 20 minute exercise, followed by an hour and a half of silent writing, during which each participant focuses on their own project. Every exercise listed below has been run with the group and had any kinks ironed out.  Where the exercises specify a number of people, if you have a larger group, simply split everyone up into smaller groups as appropriate.

The solo exercises are ideal to help stimulate your mind before working on a larger project, to overcome writer’s block, or as stand-alone prompts in their own right. If a solo exercise inspires you and you wish to use it with a larger group, give every member ten minutes to complete the exercise, then ask anyone who wishes to share their work to do so in groups of 3 or 4 afterwards.

Looking for something quick to fire your imagination? Check out these  creative writing prompts for adults .

Writing Retreat in South France

Writing retreat in France

A note on running exercises remotely

While you can enjoy the exercises solo, they are also designed for online writing groups using Zoom, WhatsApp, or Discord.

If you're running a group and follow a ' Shut Up and Write ' structure, I recommend connecting on WhatsApp (for example) first, doing the exercise together, sharing writing samples as needed. Next, write in silence for an hour and a half on your own projects, before reconnecting for a brief informal chat at the end. This works great with small remote groups and is a way to learn new techniques, gain online support, and have a productive session.

If you have a larger online group, it's worth looking into Zoom, as this has a feature called  Breakout Rooms . Breakout Rooms let you split different writers into separate rooms, which is great for group activities. The free version of Zoom has a 40 minute limit, which can be restrictive, but Zoom Pro is well worth it if you're going to use it on a regular basis. In my experience, Zoom has a better connection than Facebook chat or WhatsApp.

A Letter From Your Character To You

Letter from fictional character to the author

Spend ten minutes writing a letter from a character in your novel to  you , the author, explaining why you should write about them. This serves three purposes:

  • As you write, it helps you get into the mindset of the character. Ask yourself how they would language this letter and what they would consider important.
  • It's motivating to know that your character wants you to write about them.
  • If your goal is to publish a complete work of fiction one day, whether it be a novel, a play or a movie script, you will want to contact an agent or publisher. This helps you practice in an easy, safe way.

If you're doing this exercise with a group of teens or adults, and some of the group haven't already started working on their masterpiece, they can instead choose any fictional novel they love. Ask participants to imagine that a character within the book wrote to the author in the first place to ask them to write their story. How did they plead their case?

The Opening Sentence

First sentence of books

The opening sentence has to grab the reader's attention and make them want to keep reading. Many authors achieve this by starting with an action scene. In modern literature, it's best to avoid starting with someone waking up, or a description of the weather. In this exercise the task is to write an opening sentence either to a book you're currently writing, or simply for an imaginary piece of literature.  Here are some of my favourite opening sentences to get you going:

It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.

George Orwell , 1984

The Golem's life began in the hold of a steamship.

Helene Wecker , The Golem and the Djinni

All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.

Leo Tolstoy , Anna Karenina

It wasn't a very likely place for disappearances, at least at first glance.

Diana Gabaldon , Outlander

You better not never tell nobody but God.

Alice Walker , The Color Purple

The cage was finished.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez ,  Balthazar’s Marvelous Afternoon

Imagine that you are living your life out of order: Lunch before breakfast, marriage before your first kiss.

Audrey Niffenegger ,  The Time Traveler's Wife

Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun.

Douglas Adams ,  The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

There are a plethora of ways you can start a book, however two ways that help engage the reader immediately are:

  • Set the scene in as few words as possible, so the reader immediately knows what's happening and wants to know what happens next.  The scene must be original and create a vivid image in the reader's mind.
  • Surprise the reader with an unusual event or usual point of view.

Spend 5 minutes working on your own opening sentence, then share it with the other participants.

Make your protagonist act!

Exercise for 2 writers, or can be done solo.

Make your characters act

According to John Gardner:

"Failure to recognise that the central character must act, not simply be acted upon, is the single most common mistake in the fiction of beginners."

Spend 5 minutes writing a scene where the protagonist is passive in a conversation with one other character. It could be that the other character says something dramatic, and the protagonist just listens, or it could be anything else of your choice!

Once the 5 minutes is up, swap papers with another writer. If you're using Zoom, or working online, send it to each other in a private chat. Now the other person spends 8 minutes rewriting the scene to make the protagonist as active as possible. This might include:

Read both scenes together. Which makes you want to keep on reading?

If you're doing this as a solo writing exercise, simply complete both parts yourself.

  • Showing the emotion this evokes.
  • Getting them to disagree with the other character.
  • Showing how they respond physically (whether it's as a physical manifestation of how they feel, or a dramatic gesture to make a point).

Overcoming writer's block

Overcoming writer's block

Are you staring at a blank page or stuck for any story ideas? This exercise will help anyone who's experiencing writer's block with a particular piece of writing. If this isn't you, that's great, others will value your input!

If anyone has a particular scene they're stuck with (a pool of blood on the floor they have no explanation for, a reason why the rich lady just walked into a particular pub, etc.) then at the start of the exercise everyone briefly describes their scenes (if working online with a large group, typing it into the chat might be best). Everyone then chooses one scene to use as a writing prompt to write a short story for 10-15 minutes.

Afterwards, split into small groups if necessary, and read out how you completed someone else's writing prompt. As everyone listens to everyone else's ideas, this can be a wonderful source of inspiration and also improves your writing. As an alternative solo exercise, try free writing. With free writing, simply write as quickly as you can on the topic without editing or censoring yourself - just let your creative juices flow. If you're not sure what happens next, brainstorm options on the page, jot down story ideas, or just put, "I don't know what happens next." Keep going and ideas will come.

Writing Character Arcs

Character arc

There are several different types of character arc in a novel, the 3 most common being:

For this exercise choose either a positive or negative character arc. Spend 8 minutes writing a scene from the start of a novel, then 8 minutes writing a scene towards the end of a novel showing how the character has developed between the two points. Don't worry about including how the character has changed, you can leave that to the imagination.

The point here is to capture the essence of a character, as they will be the same, but show their development.

  • Positive  - Where a character develops and grows during the novel. Perhaps they start unhappy or weak and end happy or powerful.
  • Negative  - Where a character gets worse during a novel. Perhaps they become ill or give in to evil tendencies as the novel progresses.
  • Flat  - In a flat character arc the character themself doesn't change much, however the world around them does. This could be overthrowing a great injustice, for example.

Sewing Seeds in Your Writing

Sewing seeds in writing

In this exercise, we will look at how to sew seeds. No, not in your garden, but in your story. Seeds are the tiny hints and indicators that something is going on, which influence a reader's perceptions on an often unconscious level. They're important, as if you spring a surprise twist on your readers without any warning, it can seem unbelievable. Sew seeds that lead up to the event, so the twists and turns are still surprising, but make intuitive sense. Groups : Brainstorm major plot twists that might happen towards the end of the novel and share it in a Zoom chat, or on pieces of paper. Choose one twist each. Individuals : Choose one of the following plot twists:   -  Your friend is actually the secret son of the king.   -  Unreliable narrator - the narrator turns out to be villain.   -  The monster turns out to be the missing woman the narrator is seeking.   -  The man she is about to marry happens to already have a wife and three kids.

Write for ten minutes and give subtle hints as to what the plot twist is. This is an exercise in subtlety. Remember, when the twist occurs, it should still come as a surprise.

Animal exercise

This is a fun writing activity for a small group. You’ve found a magic potion labelled ‘Cat Chat’ and when you drink it, you turn into whichever animal you’re thinking about; but there’s a problem, it also picks up on the brainwaves of other people near you!

Everyone writes down an animal in secret and then reveals it to the other writers.  The spell will turn you into a creature that combines elements of all the animals.  Each person then spends 5 minutes writing down what happens when they drink the potion.

After the 5 minutes is up, everyone shares their story with the other participants.

If you enjoy this exercise, then you may also want to check out our  Fantasy and Sci-Fi writing prompts  full of world building, magic, and character development prompts..

I remember

Joe Brainard wrote a novel called:  I Remember It contains a collection of paragraphs all starting with “I remember”.  This is the inspiration for this exercise, and if you’re stuck for what to write, is a great way to get the mental gears turning.  Simply write “I remember” and continue with the first thing that pops into your head.

Spend 5 minutes writing a short collection of “I remember” stories.

Here are a couple of examples from Joe Brainard’s novel:

“I remember not understanding why people on the other side of the world didn't fall off.”

“I remember waking up somewhere once and there was a horse staring me in the face.”

Giving feedback to authors

Giving constructive feedback to authors

If you're running a workshop for more experienced adult authors and have at least an hour, this is a good one to use. This is the longest exercise on this page, but I felt it important enough to include.

Give each author the option to bring a piece of their own work. This should be double spaced and a maximum of 3 pages long. If you're running a workshop where not everyone is likely to bring a manuscript, ask everyone who wants to bring one to print two copies each. If someone forgets but has a laptop with them, the reader can always use their laptop.

Print out a few copies and hand them around to everyone in the workshop of the guide on: 'How to give constructive feedback to writers'

Each author who brought a sample with them then gives them to one other person to review. They write their name on the manuscript in a certain colour pen, then add any comments to it before passing it to a second person who does the same (commenting on the comments if they agree or disagree).

Then allow 5 minutes for everyone to discuss the feedback they've received, ensuring they are giving constructive feedback.

The Five Senses

Giovanni Battista Manerius - The Five Senses

Painting by Giovanni Battista Manerius -  The Five Senses

Choose a scene and write it for 5 minutes focusing on one sense, NOT sight. Choose between:

Hearing  Taste Smell Touch

This can be internal as well as external (I heard my heartbeat thudding in my ears, or I smelt my own adrenaline).

After the 5 minutes stop and everyone reads it out loud to each other. Now write for another 5 minutes and continue the other person's story, but do NOT use sight OR the sense they used.

You can use any sense to communicate the essentials, just focus on creating emotions and conveying the story with the specific sense(s).

If you need some writing prompts, here are possible scenes that involve several senses:

  • Climbing through an exotic jungle
  • Having an argument that becomes a fight
  • A cat's morning
  • Talking to someone you're attracted to

Show don't tell

2 or 3 people

Show don't tell your story

A lot of writing guides will advise you to, "Show, don't tell". What does this actually mean?

If you want to evoke an emotional reaction from your reader, showing them what is happening is a great way to do so.  You can approach this in several ways:

Split up into pairs and each person writes down a short scene from a story where they "tell" it.  After this, pass the description of the scene to your partner and they then have 5 minutes to rewrite it to "show" what happened.  If there are an odd number of participants, make one group of three, with each person passing their scene clockwise, so everyone has a new scene to show.  After the 5 minutes, for small groups everyone reads their new description to everyone else, or for large groups, each person just reads their new scene to their partner.

  • Avoid internal dialogue (thinking), instead have your protagonist interact with other people, or have a physical reaction to something that shows how s/he feels.  Does their heart beat faster?  Do they notice the smell of their own adrenaline?  Do they step backwards, or lean forwards?
  • Instead of using an adjective like creepy, e.g. "Mary entered the creepy house", show why the house is creepy through description and in the way the protagonist responds - "The light streamed through the filthy skylight, highlighting the decomposing body of a rat resting on top of it.  As Mary stepped inside, she felt a gust of freezing air brush past her. She turned, but there was nothing there..."

World building

Visual writing prompts

World building is the art of conveying the magic of living in a different world, whether it's a spaceship, a medieval castle, a boat, or simply someone's living room. To master world building, it's not necessary to know every intricate detail, rather to convey the experience of what it would be like to live there.

Choose one of the above images as a prompt and spend 10 minutes writing a scene from the perspective of someone who is seeing it for the first time. Now, move your character six months forward and imagine they've spent the last six months living or working there. Write another scene (perhaps with an additional character) using the image as a background, with the events of the scene as the main action.

Click the above image for a close-up.

Gossiping about a character as if they're a friend.

Easy to gossip with friends about a character

Judy Blume says that she tells her family about her characters as if they’re real people. 

Chris Claremont said, "For me, writing the 'X-Men' was easy - is easy. I know these people, they're my friends." 

Today’s exercise has 2 parts. First, spend 5 minutes jotting down some facts about a character you’ve invented that might come up if you were telling your friends about them. Either choose a character in something you’ve already written, or invent one from scratch now.

Answer the questions:

What are they up to? How are they? What would you say if you were gossiping about them?

Then split up into groups of 4 to 6 writers. 2 volunteers from each group then role-play talking about their character as if they were a friend (perhaps another character in the story).  The other participants will role-play a group of friends gossiping about the character behind their back and ask questions. If you don’t know the answer, invent it!

Degrees of Emotion Game

Degrees of emotion

This is based on an acting game, to help actors understand how to perform with different degrees of emotion.

Ask everyone to write the following 4 emotions:

For groups of 5 or less, write down numbers starting with 1 and going up until everyone has a number, then give them out in order. For groups of 6 or more, divide groups into 3's, 4's or 5's.

Each person has to write a scene where the protagonist is alone and is only allowed to say a single word, e.g. "Banana".  The writer with number 1 should write the scene with a very low level of the emotion (e.g. happiness), number 2 increases the intensity a bit and the highest number writes a scene with the most intense emotion you can possibly imagine.

Once each writer has written about happiness, rotate the numbers one or two spaces, then move onto anger, then fear, then sadness.

It can help to give everyone numbers showing the intensity of the emotions to write about at the start of the exercise, in which case you may wish to print either the Word or PDF file, then use the ones corresponding to 3, 4 or 5 writers.

PDF

Everyone shares their scene with the other course participants.

Three birds, one line

Kill three birds with one stone

The first paragraph of a surprising number of best-selling novels serves multiple purposes. These are to:

  • Establish a goal
  • Set the scene
  • Develop a character

Nearly every chapter in a novel also serves all three purposes. Instead of establishing a goal though, the protagonist either moves towards it, or encounters an obstacle that hinders them from achieving it.

Some books manage to meet all three purposes with their opening lines, for example:  

Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.

J.K. Rowling ,  Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone  

A little more than one hundred days into the fortieth year of her confinement, Dajeil Gelian was visited in her lonely tower overlooking the sea by an avatar of the great ship that was her home.

Iain M. Banks ,  Excession  

"We should start back," Gared urged as the woods began to grow dark around them.

George R.R. Martin ,  A Game of Thrones

For this exercise write a sentence or short paragraph that serves all three purposes. If you're already writing a novel, then see if you can do this for the first line in a chapter. If not, choose any combination from the following table:

Blind Date on Valentine's Day (Exercise for Adults)

Valentine's Day Book

In pairs one writer spends a minute or two describing a character they're writing about, or alternatively they can describe a celebrity or someone from a work of fiction.  The next writer then describes their character.

The story is that these 2 characters (or in my case, person and alien, as I'm writing a sci-fi) have accidentally ended up on a blind date with each other. Perhaps the waiter seated them in the wrong location, perhaps it's an actual blind date, or perhaps they met in some other fashion the writers can determine.

Now spend 10 minutes discussing what happens next!

A Success (Works best for online groups)

Winning a race

This exercise works best for online groups, via Zoom, for example.  The instructions to give are:

"In a few words describe a success in your life and what it felt like to achieve it. It can be a small victory or a large one."

Share a personal example of your own (mine was watching my homeschooled sons sing in an opera together).

"Once you have one (small or large), write it in the chat.

The writing exercise is then to choose someone else's victory to write about for 10 minutes, as if it was the end of your own book.

If you want to write for longer, imagine how that book would start. Write the first part of the book with the ending in mind."

This is great for reminding people of a success in their lives, and also helps everyone connect and discover something about each other.

Your dream holiday

Dream holiday in France

You’re going on a dream holiday together, but always disagree with each other. To avoid conflict, rather than discuss what you want to do, you’ve decided that each of you will choose a different aspect of the holiday as follows:

  • Choose where you’ll be going – your favourite holiday destination.
  • Choose what your main fun activity will be on the holiday.
  • Decide what mode of travel you’ll use to get there.
  • If there’s a 4 th  person, choose what you’ll eat on the holiday and what you’ll be wearing.

Decide who gets to choose what at random. Each of you then writes down your dream holiday destination/activity/travel/food & clothes in secret.  Next spend 5 minutes discussing your dream holiday and add any other details you’d like to include, particularly if you’re passionate about doing something in real life.

Finally, everyone spends another 5 minutes writing down a description of the holiday, then shares it with the others.

Writing haiku

A haiku is a traditional Japanese form of non-rhyming poetry whose short form makes it ideal for a simple writing exercise.

They are traditionally structured in 3 lines, where the first line is 5 syllables, the second line is 7 syllables, and the third line is 5 syllables again. Haiku tend to focus on themes of nature and deep concepts that can be expressed simply.

A couple of examples:

A summer river being crossed how pleasing with sandals in my hands! Yosa Buson , a haiku master poet from the 18 th  Century.

And one of mine:

When night-time arrives Stars come out, breaking the dark You can see the most

Martin Woods

Spend up to 10 minutes writing a haiku.  If you get stuck with the 5-7-5 syllable rule, then don’t worry, the overall concept is more important!

See  How to write a haiku  for more details and examples.

Writing a limerick

Unlike a haiku, which is profound and sombre, a limerick is a light-hearted, fun rhyming verse.

Here are a couple of examples:

A wonderful bird is the pelican. His bill can hold more than his beli-can He can take in his beak Food enough for a week But I'm damned if I see how the heli-can.

Dixon Lanier Merritt, 1910

There was a young lady named Bright, Whose speed was far faster than light; She started one day In a relative way, And returned on the previous night.

Arthur Henry Reginald Buller in  Punch,  1923

The 1 st , 2 nd  and 5 th  line all rhyme, as do the 3 rd  and 4 th  line.  The overall number of syllables isn’t important, but the 3 rd  and 4 th  lines should be shorter than the others.

Typically, the 1 st  line introduces the character, often with “There was”, or “There once was”. The rest of the verse tells their story.

Spend 10 minutes writing a limerick.

Time Travel - Child, Adult, Senior

Adult time travel

Imagine that your future self as an old man/woman travels back in time to meet you, the adult you are today.  Alternatively, you as a child travels forward in time to meet yourself as an adult.  Or perhaps both happen, so the child you, adult you, and senior you are all together at the same time.  In story form write down what happens next.

Participants then share their story with other writers either in small groups, or to the whole group.

Focus on faces

Solo exercise.

Describing a character

One challenge writers face is describing a character. A common mistake is to focus too much on the physical features, e.g. "She had brown eyes, curly brown hair and was five foot six inches tall."

The problem with this is it doesn't reveal anything about the character's personality, or the relationship between your protagonist and the character. Your reader is therefore likely to quickly forget what someone looks like.  When describing characters, it's therefore best to:

  • Animate them - it's rare that someone's sitting for a portrait when your protagonist first meets them and whether they're talking or walking, it's likely that they're moving in some way.
  • Use metaphors or similes  - comparing physical features to emotionally charged items conjures both an image and a sense of who someone is.
  • Involve your protagonist  - if your protagonist is interacting with a character, make it personal.  How does your protagonist view this person?  Incorporate the description as part of the description.
  • Only give information your protagonist knows  - they may know if someone is an adult, or a teenager, but they won't know that someone is 37 years old, for example.

Here are three examples of character descriptions that leave no doubt how the protagonist feels.

“If girls could spit venom, it'd be through their eyes.” S.D. Lawendowski,  Snapped

"And Ronan was everything that was left: molten eyes and a smile made for war." Maggie Stiefvater,  The Dream Thieves

"His mouth was such a post office of a mouth that he had a mechanical appearance of smiling." Charles Dickens

Spend 5 minutes writing a character introduction that is animated, uses metaphors or similes and involves your protagonist.

If working with a group, then form small groups of 3 or 4 and share your description with the rest of the group.

Onomatopeai, rhyme and alliteration

Onomatopeai, rhyme or alliteration.

Today's session is all about sound.

Several authors recommend reading your writing out loud after you've written it to be sure it sounds natural.   Philip Pullman  even goes as far as to say:

"When I’m writing, I’m more conscious of the sound, actually, than the meaning. I know what the rhythm of the sentence is going to be before I know what the words are going to be in it."

For today's exercise, choose the name of a song and write for 10 minutes as if that's the title for a short story. Focus on how your writing sounds and aim to include at least one onomatopoeia, rhyme or alliteration.  At the end of the 10 minutes, read it out loud to yourself, or to the group.

Alliterations

An alliteration example from Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”

The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew, The furrow followed free; We were the first that ever burst Into that silent sea.

Onomatopoeias

Buzz, woof, quack, baa, crash, purr, beep, belch,...

The alphabet story - creating a story as a group

alphabet story

This is a novel way to write a story as a group, one word at a time.  The first person starts the story that begins with any word starting with “A”, the next person continues the story with a word starting with “B”, and so on.

Keep going round until you have completed the alphabet.  Ideally it will all be one sentence, but if you get stuck, start a new sentence.  Don’t worry if it doesn’t make complete sense!

It can be tricky to remember the alphabet when under pressure, so you may wish to print it out a couple of times, so the storytellers can see it if they need to, this is particularly helpful if you have dyslexics in the group.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Here’s an example of an alphabet story:

A Band Can Dance Each Friday, Ghostly Hauntings In Jail Kill Lucky Men, Nobody Or Perhaps Quiet Rats, Still That Unifies Villains Who X-Ray Your Zebras.

As I mentioned, it doesn’t need to make sense!

A question or two

Small or large groups

1 or 2 questions

The standard format in our group is a short writing exercise followed by an hour and a half of silent writing on our projects.

At one point I felt like we'd done a lot of small group exercises, and wanted to gain an insight into what everyone was working on, so we did the following exercise instead:

Go round the table and ask everyone to briefly talk about their writing.  Each person then asks one or two yes/no questions.

Everyone responds either by raising their hand for 'yes' or shaking their heads for 'no'. You can also leap up and down to indicate a very strong 'yes'.

Questions can be about anything, and you can use them either to help guide your writing or to help find other people in the group who have similar interests.

Here are some random examples you might ask:

  • I want to write a romance novel and am considering setting it in Paris, a traditional romantic setting, or Liverpool which is a less obvious setting. Who thinks Liverpool would be best?
  • I need to know more about the life of a farmer. Has anyone got farming experience who I can interview in exchange for a drink?
  • My character gets fired and that night goes back to his office and steals 35 computers. Does that sound realistic as the premise of a story?

This works best when you give participants some advance notice, so they have time to think of a question.

Murder Mystery Game

Groups of 3 or 4

Murder mystery

This exercise takes 20-30 minutes and allows participants to create a murder mystery outline together.

Phase 1 (3 minutes)

  • Split into groups of 3 or 4
  • Decide as a group where the murder occurs (e.g. the opera house, a bar, a casino)
  • Decide one person who will write the details of the victim and the murder itself.  Everyone else writes the details of one suspect each.
  • The ‘victim author’ then invents a few extra details about the scene of the crime, who the victim was (a teenage punk, an adult opera singer, etc.) and the murder weapon and summarises this to the others.

Phase 2 (10 minutes)

Each person then writes a police report as if they are either describing the scene of the crime, or recording the notes from their interview with a single suspect:

Write the following:

  • 1 line description of the victim.
  • When they were last seen by a group of witnesses (and what they were doing).
  • How the murder occurred in more detail based on the evidence available.

Write the following (from the perspective of the investigator):

  • 1 line description of the suspect
  • What they said during the interview (including what they claim to have doing when the murder occurs).
  • A possible motivation (as determined by the police from other witnesses).

Phase 3 (5 minutes)

  • Each person reads out their police reports to the other members of their small group
  • As a group, decide who the murderer was and what actually happened

See more ideas on  creating murder mystery party games

The obscure movie exercise

Obscure movie

Pick a famous movie and spend 5 minutes writing a scene from it from an unusual perspective.  Your aim is to achieve a balance between being too obscure and making it too obvious.  Feel free to add internal dialogue.

At the end of the 5 minutes, everyone reads their movie scene to the others and all the other participants see if they can guess what the movie is.

How to hint at romantic feelings

How to hint at romantic feelings

Write a scene with two people in a group, where you hint that one is romantically interested in the other, but the feelings aren’t reciprocated.

The goal of this exercise is to practice subtlety. Imagine you are setting a scene for the future where the characters feelings will become more important. Choose a situation like a work conference, meeting with a group of friends, etc. How do you indicate how the characters feel without them saying it in words?

Some tips for hinting at romantic feelings:

  • Make the characters nervous and shy.
  • Your protagonist leans forward.
  • Asks deeper questions and listens intently.
  • Finds ways to be close together.
  • Mirrors their gestures.
  • Gives lots of compliments.
  • Makes eye contact, then looks away.
  • Other people seem invisible to your protagonist.

A novel idea

Novel idea

Take it in turns to tell everyone else about a current project you’re working on (a book, screenplay, short story, etc.)

The other writers then brainstorm ideas for related stories you could write, or directions your project could take.  There are no right or wrong suggestions and the intention is to focus on big concepts, not little details.

This whole exercise takes around 15 minutes.

Creative writing prompts

Exercise for groups of 3-5

Creative writing

If you're in larger group, split up into groups of 3 or 4 people.

Everyone writes the first line of a story in the Zoom chat, or on paper. Other people can then choose this line as a writing prompt.

For this exercise:

  • Say who the protagonist is.
  • Reveal their motivation.
  • Introduce any other characters

Once everyone's written a prompt, each author chooses a prompt (preferably someone eles's, but it can be your own if you feel really inspired by it.)  Then write for 10 minutes using this prompt. See if you can reveal who the protagonist is, what their motivation is (it can be a small motivation for a particular scene, it doesn't have to be a huge life goal), and introduce at least one new character.

Take turns reading out your stories to each other.

  • Write in the first person.
  • Have the protagonist interacting with an object or something in nature.
  • The challenge is to create intrigue that makes the reader want to know more with just a single line.

Creative story cards / dice

Creative story cards for students

Cut up a piece of paper and write one word on each of the pieces of paper, as follows:

Give each participant a couple of pieces of paper at random.  The first person says the first sentence of a story and they must use their first word as part of that sentence.  The second person then continues the story and must include their word in it, and so on.  Go round the group twice to complete the story.

You can also do this creative writing exercise with story dice, your own choice of words, or by asking participants to write random words down themselves, then shuffling all the cards together.

Alternative Christmas Story

Alternative Christmas Story

Every Christmas adults tell kids stories about Santa Claus. In this exercise you write a Christmas story from an alternative dimension.

What if every Christmas Santa didn't fly around the world delivering presents on his sleigh pulled by reindeer? What if gnomes or aliens delivered the presents? Or perhaps it was the gnomes who are trying to emulate the humans? Or some other Christmas tradition entirely that we humans have never heard of!

Group writing exercise

If you're working with a group, give everyone a couple of minutes to write two possible themes for the new Christmas story. Each theme should be 5 words or less.

Shuffle the paper and distribute them at random. If you're working online, everyone types the themes into the Zoom or group chat. Each writer then spends 10 minutes writing a short story for children based on one of the two themes, or their own theme if they really want to.

If working alone, choose your own theme and spend 15 minutes writing a short story on it. See if you can create the magic of Christmas from another world!

Murder Mystery Mind Map

Murder Mystery mind map

In a murder mystery story or courtroom drama, there's often conflicting information and lots of links between characters. A mind map is an ideal way to illustrate how everything ties together.

Split into groups of 3 or 4 people each and place a blank piece of A3 paper (double the size of A4) in the middle of each group. Discuss between you who the victim is and write their name in the middle of the piece of paper. Then brainstorm information about the murder, for example:

Feel free to expand out from any of these, e.g. to include more information on the different characters involved.

The idea is that  everyone writes at the same time!   Obviously, you can discuss ideas, but anyone can dive in and write their ideas on the mind map.

  • Who was the victim? (job, appearance, hobbies, etc.)
  • Who did the victim know?
  • What were their possible motivations?
  • What was the murder weapon?
  • What locations are significant to the plot?

New Year’s resolutions for a fictional character

List of ideas for a fictional character

If you’re writing a piece of fiction, ask yourself how your protagonist would react to an everyday situation. This can help you to gain a deeper insight into who they are.

One way to do this is to imagine what their New Year’s resolutions would be.

If completing this exercise with a group, limit it to 3 to 5 resolutions per person. If some participants are historical fiction or non-fiction writers, they instead pick a celebrity and either write what their resolutions  will  be, or what their resolutions  should  be, their choice.

Verb Noun Fiction Exercise (Inspired by Stephen King)

List of ideas for a fictional character

Stephen King said, "I believe the road to hell is paved with adverbs, and I will shout it from the rooftops."

He also said, "Take any noun, put it with any verb, and you have a sentence. It never fails. Rocks explode. Jane transmits. Mountains float. These are all perfect sentences. Many such thoughts make little rational sense, but even the stranger ones (Plums deify!) have a kind of poetic weight that’s nice."

In this fiction writing exercise, start by brainstorming (either individually or collectively) seven verbs on seven different pieces of paper. Put those aside for later. Now brainstorm seven nouns. Randomly match the nouns and verbs so you have seven pairs. Choose a pair and write a piece of fiction for ten minutes. Avoid using any adverbs.

It’s the end of the world

End of the world

It’s the end of the world!  For 5 minutes either:

If working as a team, then after the 5 minutes is up each writer reads their description out to the other participants.

  • Describe how the world’s going to end, creating evocative images using similes or metaphors as you wish and tell the story from a global perspective, or
  • Describe how you spend your final day before the world is destroyed.  Combine emotion and action to engage the reader.

7 Editing Exercises

For use after your first draft

Editing first draft

I’ve listened to a lot of masterclasses on writing by successful authors and they all say variants of your first draft won’t be good and that’s fine. Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman summarise it the best:

“The first draft is just you telling yourself the story.”  

Terry Pratchett

“For me, it’s always been a process of trying to convince myself that what I’m doing in a first draft isn’t important. One way you get through the wall is by convincing yourself that it doesn’t matter. No one is ever going to see your first draft. Nobody cares about your first draft. And that’s the thing that you may be agonising over, but honestly, whatever you’re doing can be fixed… For now, just get the words out. Get the story down however you can get it down, then fix it.”

Neil Gaiman

Once you’ve written your first draft, it will need editing to develop the plot, enhance the characters, and improve each scene in a myriad of ways – small and large. These seven creative editing exercises are designed to help with this stage of the process.

The First Sentence

Read the first paragraph of the novel, in particular the first sentence. Does it launch the reader straight into the action? According to  On Writing and Worldbuilding  by Timothy Hickson,  “The most persuasive opening lines are succinct, and not superfluous. To do this, it is often effective to limit it to a single central idea… This does not need to be the most important element, but it should be a central element that is interesting.” Ask yourself what element your opening sentence encapsulates and whether it’s the best one to capture your readers’ attention.

Consistency

Consistency is crucial in creative writing, whether it’s in relation to location, objects, or people.

It’s also crucial for personality, emotions and motivation.

Look at scenes where your protagonist makes an important decision. Are their motivations clear? Do any scenes force them to choose between two conflicting morals? If so, do you explore this? Do their emotions fit with what’s happened in previous scenes?

As you edit your manuscript, keep the characters’ personality, emotions and motivation in mind. If their behaviour is inconsistent, either edit it for consistency, or have someone comment on their strange behaviour or be surprised by it. Inconsistent behaviour can reveal that a character is keeping a secret, or is under stress, so characters don’t always need to be consistent. But when they’re not, there has to be a reason.  

Show Don’t Tell One

This exercise is the first in  The Emotional Craft of Fiction  by Donald Maass. It’s a writing guide with a plethora of editing exercises designed to help you reenergize your writing by thinking of what your character is feeling, and giving you the tools to make your reader feel something.  

  • Select a moment in your story when your protagonist is moved, unsettled, or disturbed… Write down all the emotions inherent in this moment, both obvious and hidden.
  • Next, considering what he is feeling, write down how your protagonist can act out. What is the biggest thing your protagonist can do? What would be explosive, out of bounds, or offensive? What would be symbolic? … Go sideways, underneath, or ahead. How can your protagonist show us a feeling we don’t expect to see?
  • Finally, go back and delete all the emotions you wrote down at the beginning of this exercise. Let actions and spoken words do the work. Do they feel too big, dangerous, or over-the-top? Use them anyway. Others will tell you if you’ve gone too far, but more likely, you haven’t gone far enough.

Show Don’t Tell Two

Search for the following words in your book:

Whenever these words occur, ask yourself if you can demonstrate how your characters feel, rather than simply stating it. For each occasion, can you use physiological descriptors (a racing heart), actions (taking a step backwards) or dialogue to express what’s just happened instead? Will this enhance the scene and engage the reader more?

After The Action

Find a scene where your characters disagree – in particular a scene where your protagonist argues with friends or allies. What happens next?

It can be tempting to wrap up the action with a quick resolution. But what if a resentment lingers and mistrust builds? This creates a more interesting story arc and means a resolution can occur later, giving the character development a real dynamic.

Review how you resolve the action and see if you can stretch out the emotions for a more satisfying read.

Eliminating the Fluff

Ensure that the words used don’t detract from the enormity of the events your character is going through. Can you delete words like, “Quite”, “Little”, or “Rather”? 

Of “Very” Florence King once wrote: “ 'Very' is the most useless word in the English language and can always come out. More than useless, it is treacherous because it invariably weakens what it is intended to strengthen .” Delete it, or replace the word after it with a stronger word, which makes “Very” redundant.

“That,” is another common word used in creative writing which can often be deleted. Read a sentence as is, then reread it as if you deleted, “That”. If the meaning is the same, delete it.

Chapter Endings

When talking about chapter endings, James Patterson said,  “At the end, something has to propel you into the next chapter.”

Read how each of your chapters finish and ask yourself does it either:

  • End on a cliff hanger? (R.L. Stine likes to finish every chapter in this method).
  • End on a natural pause (for example, you’re changing point of view or location).

Review how you wrap up each of your chapters. Do you end at the best point in your story? Can you add anticipation to cliff hangers? Will you leave your readers wanting more?

How to run the writing exercises

The editing exercises are designed to be completed individually.

With the others, I've always run them as part of a creative writing group, where there's no teacher and we're all equal participants, therefore I keep any 'teaching' aspect to a minimum, preferring them to be prompts to generate ideas before everyone settles down to do the silent writing. We've recently gone online and if you run a group yourself, whether online or in person, you're welcome to use these exercises for free!

The times given are suggestions only and I normally get a feel for how everyone's doing when time's up and if it's obvious that everyone's still in the middle of a discussion, then I give them longer.  Where one group's in the middle of a discussion, but everyone else has finished, I sometimes have a 'soft start' to the silent writing, and say, "We're about to start the hour and a half of silent writing now, but if you're in the middle of a discussion, feel free to finish it first".

This way everyone gets to complete the discussion, but no-one's waiting for ages.  It's also important to emphasise that there's no wrong answers when being creative.

Still looking for more? Check out these creative writing prompts  or our dedicated Sci-Fi and Fantasy creative writing prompts

If you've enjoyed these creative writing exercises, please share them on social media, or link to them from your blog.

SEO Newsletter

Marketing Blog

  • Real estate SEO case study
  • Writing retreat in South France
  • How Google detects and penalizes AI content
  • How to translate a website to English
  • 42 Sci-Fi and Fantasy Writing Prompts
  • How to write a content marketing plan for lasting success
  • How to create your own Murder Mystery Party

Indigoextra Ltd © 2006 - 2024

UK Tel: +44 (0) 208 1234 618 France Tel: +33 (0) 602 222 354

Testimonials - Terms & Privacy  - Ethics - Contact

a creative writing group

50 fun group writing exercises

Group writing exercises you can do with your writing circle or critique group are a fun ice-breaker and a way to get creative ideas flowing. Read 50 ‘fill in the blank’ creative writing prompts.

  • Post author By Jordan
  • 6 Comments on 50 fun group writing exercises

50 fun group writing exercises | Now Novel

‘Fill in the blank’ writing exercises are fun to do in a group. Writing exercises with some set parameters highlight the diverse, interesting ways different writers interpret and respond to the same prompts. Try one of 50 ‘fill in the blank’ creative writing prompts below, and share your creativity in the comments or tag @NowNovel if sharing your version on social media.

The group writing exercises

The first prompt was a prompt for a contest to win a place on our Group Coaching writing course .

Contest prompt

Fill in the blanks Now Novel group coaching contest

Every year, I’d made a resolution not to ever __ again. Yet by January 20th I’d already __ and __.

Entries were voted on blind by a panel of four from the Now Novel team, and the winner was Ethan Myers with this entry:

Writing contest winner - Ethan Myers entry

Here are 49 more prompts to enjoy and stimulate creative ideas:

Writing exercises featuring scene-setting

On leaving As soon as I turned 18, I left__. It was a town of__and__ .

On arrival I walked through the arched entryway and my jaw dropped. Everywhere you looked there were__. Marco Polo himself could never have imagined__.

The first time It was my first ever flight. I was__. Then a__ sat down next to me, turning to me and asking, “__?”

Compare and contrast My hometown was__. When I got to__, a college town, the first thing I noticed was__.

Use the senses The minute you entered, you could smell __. Paired with the sound of __, it was unmistakably home.

Be specific The home we’d rented for the holidays was neither__ nor__, contrary to the listing. Yet my younger brother was delighted when we found__.

Build a bucket list I’d always wanted to go to__. I’d read so much about its__, though nothing had prepared me for__.

Create a world In the books I had read as a kid, portals were gateways to worlds where __. Yet here, I was surprised to find a__.

Outside/inside Outside, the sounds of__ filled the air__. Yet inside, the 19th Century __was like another world, full of strange __.

FINISH YOUR BOOK IN 6 MONTHS

Stay accountable, in a structured program with writing sprints, coach Q&As, webinars and feedback in an intimate writing group.

Now Novel group coaching

Group writing exercises featuring conflict

Lovers’ quarrel We thought it would be a romantic getaway to Rome. Then__. By the end of the day, hot and fed up, we__.

A troubling lookout He climbed the watchtower, yet when he turned to the window, what he saw made him tremble.__.

The duel Many had said that if they were ever to duel, no two could be more equally matched. But what his opponent didn’t know was__.

Alien invasion In alien movies, they always blew up The White House or__. So he hadn’t expected to be toe to toe with an extraterrestrial having a screamed debate about__.

An assassin As the most skilled contract killer in the kingdom, she knew how to__. Yet nobody knew that she__.

Warring nations It started with a trade embargo. Then the president said that our neighbors’ president was a __ with a __. Next thing we knew, __.

Difficult decisions I couldn’t decide whether to__ or to__, but it was 4:45 pm and the last train was leaving in five minutes.

Writing exercises using dialogue

Secrets and lies “I never__,” he said. Yet I knew he was lying because__.

Surprises “Guess what I have behind my back?” she said. “__?” I guessed. “No!” She held out__.

Confessions “I didn’t know how to tell you this … I__.” “I’m glad you told me, now we can__.”

Embarrassing family “Your son is very talented, Mr Jones,” the__ said. “You say that now. You should have seen when he was 9. He__ and we were told that__.”

Thinking aloud “You should__.” “What did you just say?” “Did I just say that out loud? I was thinking about__.”

Know-it-all “Bet you didn’t know__,” he gloated. “Bet you didn’t know__,” I clapped back, full sass.

Bad bard “Shall I compare thee-“ I married a thespian. “Shall I compare you to __?” I rolled my eyes.

Writing exercises using simile and metaphor

Wild reactions His face was as __ as a__ after the bug bite and we were all a bit worried.

Comparing the moon The moon is a__ tonight, its thin crescent glowing like a__.

Making abstraction specific My anxiety is like a__ on the first day of school. A__ with a __.

Sound and simile The first minutes the orchestra was like a __, the music shimmering like __. But in the allegro the principal violinist’s string broke and the conductor__.

Describing emotions Fear is a__ with a__.

Describing the human voice He had a voice like__, like a__ echoing in a __.

Degrees of comparison The mysterious drink they prepared was sweeter than__. But sweeter still was__.

Fill in the blanks writing exercise - use the senses | Now Novel

Writing exercises using different POVs

Fugitive I had run all night, adrenaline keeping fatigue at bay. When I saw__ as dawn broke, I knew__.

Collective They had ways of dealing with dissent. If you dared to go against the clan, you would be__, God help you.

The reader as reader You decide to go to the library. You want to read a book about__. The librarian raises an eyebrow as they run the barcode scanner. “__?” They ask, as you blush.

The group as one That summer, we__ until we couldn’t__. We were all in our twenties, and the days were__.

Writing exercise using different moods of the verb

Future perfect tense, indicative mood In several years’ time, she will have changed, our__ changing like__.

Present tense, potential mood “They may change their minds,” the King says, scowling, “or else we may have to__ and__.”

Future tense, subjunctive mood If I should__, then tell everyone I never__.

[See a helpful explanation of verb moods and tenses in Ursula K. Le Guin’s Steering the Craft . ]

Writing exercises from creating blanks in books

Colum McCann – Let the Great World Spin We had a short driveway full of__. If we crossed the road, we could stand on__ and__.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez – Love in the Time of Cholera He had returned from a long stay in Paris, where he__, and from the time he set foot on solid ground he__.

Margaret Atwood, Oryx and Crake Jimmy’s earliest complete memory was of a huge__. He must have been five, maybe six. He was wearing__.

Virginia Woolf – Mrs Dalloway Her only gift was__. If you put her in a room with some one, up went her back like a cat’s; or she__.

Italo Calvino – The Complete Cosmicomics I thought only of the Earth. It was the Earth that caused each of us to__.

David Sedaris – Me Talk Pretty One Day When painting proved too difficult, I turned to__, telling myself__.

Eva Hoffman – Lost in Translation The library is located in a__ street, in an ancient building, which one enters through a__. It is Plato’s cave, Egyptian temple, the space of__.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – Half of a Yellow Sun Richard said little at the parties Susan took him to. When she introduced him, she always added__. But they were pleasant to him; they would be to__.

Ursula K. Le Guin – The Left Hand of Darkness I’ll make my report as if I told a story, for I was taught__.

Colson Whitehead – The Zone The reunions were terrific and rote, early tutelage in the recursive nature of human experience. “__?” the girlfriends asked as they padded in bearing__, and he’d say “__”.

Barbara Kingsolver – The Poisonwood Bible Once every few years, even now, I catch the scent of__. It makes me want to keen, sing,__.

Jorge Luis Borges – Labyrinths He opened a drawer of the black and gold desk. He faced me and in his hands he held__.

Emily Brontë – Wuthering Heights While enjoying a month of fine weather at the sea-coast, I was thrown into the company of a__, a real__.

Find daily writing prompts plus literary device definitions and terms.

Build focus and a steady writing routine, and get help from experienced coaches and editors while connecting with other writers on our 6-month Group Coaching course. Learn more and see what alumni loved.

Related Posts:

  • How to find a writing group plus 7 pros of workshops
  • Writing exercises: 10 fun tense workouts
  • 6 creative writing exercises for rich character
  • Tags writing groups , writing inspiration , writing prompts

a creative writing group

Jordan is a writer, editor, community manager and product developer. He received his BA Honours in English Literature and his undergraduate in English Literature and Music from the University of Cape Town.

6 replies on “50 fun group writing exercises”

These exercises look like fun!

Sometimes there comes a point when you can’t think of anything worth writing. I guess every writer will know what I mean. But with these templates, I can get some inspiration and share whole stories with my friends.

Thank you, Jordan.

Hi Daisy, I’m glad that you found these ideas inspiring, it’s a pleasure. Thank you for sharing your feedback!

I love these! They’re inspiring (although I want to cheat and use them as-is). Lots of material for future fun 😉

Hi Margriet, thank you! I’m glad you find these writing exercises fun. We can share fill-in-the-blank exercises in the challenge group, that’s another idea.

Thankyou Jordan for these great points.

It’s a pleasure, Dave. Thank you for reading our blog.

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

South Carolina State University

Certificate in Professional Writing

The Professional Writing Certificate is an 18-hour credit certificate that provides students the opportunity to develop advanced workplace writing skills that combine creative thinking, analytical skills, and practical application. The certificate requires successful completion of six writing-focused courses above the freshman composition level, including five at the junior and senior levels. As part of their final coursework, students will take E 430 Advanced Professional Writing, a project-based course in which students apply the skills acquired in the other certificate program courses.

Flexible Delivery Format!

The Professional Writing Certificate allows flexibility: students can choose to complete the entire program online or in a hybrid model that allows them to complete some courses in face-to-face format and others online.

Pre-requisites

Successful completion of E 150 English Composition I and E 151 English Composition II

Why get a Professional Writing Certificate?

Communication skills and the ability to compose and edit workplace documents are consistently in the top ten list of skills employers look for in employees. This certificate program can benefit current SC State students in other degree programs and individuals currently in the workforce and desire to enhance their work-related skills for potential advancement.

Advanced oral and written skills, the ability to work in teams, and the ability to compose and edit workplace documents are consistently among the top desired workplace skills. This certificate will be beneficial for a variety of careers.

Students who earn a certificate in Professional Writing at SC State will be able to do the following:

  • Compose public, technical, and workplace documents.
  • Create documents appropriate for target audiences.
  • Collaborate effectively with fellow writers/colleagues.
  • Effectively employ a variety of tools used for writing in a digital environment.
  • Evaluate primary and secondary research for use in specific writing contexts.
  • Design effective documents, including graphics and page design.

Who will teach me?

The courses in the Professional Writing Certificate Program have experience in teaching advanced writing courses, including work-related writing. In addition, the faculty have experience in composing such documents in their fields of English, composition, and mass communications.

What courses will I take?

All of these courses focus on the development of skills that writers need in the 21st-century workplace, including writing for digital contexts. In addition to sharpening their composition skills, students will create workplace documents, such as reports and proposals, and also practice their online skills through the creation of webpages and other digital media.

  • JOUR 210 Writing for Mass Communications
  • E 302 Advanced Grammar and Composition
  • E 313 Creative Writing
  • E 314 Public Writing for the Digital Age
  • E 330 Professional Writing
  • E 430 Advanced Professional Writing

Will I get professional experience?

In E 430: Advanced Professional Writing, students will work throughout the semester on a realistic professional writing project, starting with a formal proposal at the beginning of the semester and closing with the final product. Students may choose a project related to a problem or issue at their current workplace that they would like to address. As they work on their individual projects, students will work in teams assisting each other with feedback on their projects and developing shorter team-composed documents to assist their classroom peers with their work.

It’s Never Too Late!

Application deadlines, more information, technical requirements.

A computer with Internet connectivity is required for coursework delivered online. Additional technology requirements are listed on the course syllabus.

Tuition and Fees

eTuition : $552 (per credit hour)* Fees : $84 (per semester)

*eTuition rates are the same for both in-state and out-of-state students.

Financial Aid

A variety of financial aid and scholarship programs are available for eligible students. Contact the  Financial Aid for more information.

Department of English and Communications [email protected]  

IMAGES

  1. Creative Writing Group

    a creative writing group

  2. Creative Writing Group

    a creative writing group

  3. New creative writing group for young people!

    a creative writing group

  4. 11 Tips For Starting A Creating Writing Group That Works For You & Your

    a creative writing group

  5. Writing Groups

    a creative writing group

  6. Bring collaborative writing into your classroom with these 5 engaging

    a creative writing group

VIDEO

  1. Creative writing Group 1

  2. Drama in Creative Writing Group A

  3. Writers Room

  4. IS IT STILL NOT ENOUGH? Performance Task in Creative Writing (group 3)

  5. Short Film: Richard Cory by Edwin Arlington Robinson

  6. When the Man from the Travelling Circus Came to Town

COMMENTS

  1. 15 of the Best Online Writing Communities for Aspiring Authors

    Top online writing communities. 1. Absolute Write Water Cooler. With over 68,000 members, this is a large and highly active community. Here you can find threads on every genre imaginable, as well as discussions about freelance writing, the publishing industry, pop culture, writing prompts and exercises, and much more.

  2. 19 Online Writing Groups And Online Communities

    Like most other online writing groups and communities, Scribophile is free but there are perks for people who are okay with paying for a membership. 4. NaNoWriMo. NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is one of the best online writing groups for beginners.

  3. Scribophile: The writing group and online writing workshop for serious

    Scribophile is a writing group focused on getting you feedback on your manuscript. — in fact, we're one of the largest online writing groups out there. Our points-based peer critique system guarantees you'll get feedback from writers from all walks of life. You can then use that feedback to polish your writing before you take the next ...

  4. Creative Writing groups

    Meet other local people interested in Creative Writing: share experiences, inspire and encourage each other! Join a Creative Writing group. 909,539. members. 1,672. groups. ... Writing Group. 8 Members. Started Jan 1 in Satellite Beach, us. creatividad y good vibes en Valencia. 1 Members. Started Jan 1 in Valencia, es. Create your own Meetup group.

  5. How to Find a Writing Group: 6 Benefits of Joining a Writing Group

    Writing is typically a solo endeavor, but finding a community of writers that support one another can be a great source of inspiration and encouragement. Whether you're a published author or want to start crafting your first book, a writing group can offer a supportive environment of like-minded people who share a passion for telling stories.

  6. Poets & Writers Groups

    Find details about every creative writing competition—including poetry contests, short story competitions, essay contests, awards for novels, grants for translators, and more—that we've published in the Grants & Awards section of Poets & Writers Magazine during the past year. We carefully review the practices and policies of each contest before including it in the Writing Contests ...

  7. Shut Up & Write!

    Hit your flow state without distractions. Write for an hour. and leave, or stick around. and chat — the choice is yours! No critiques or. read-alouds, unless you want to share. This is the best way to meet fellow writers, get some work done, and just spend an hour on yourself.

  8. Want to Join a Writing Group? 8 Places to Look

    Here are a few ideas for where to look for a writing group. 1. Local writing centers and communities. Usually a quick Internet search with your city and "writing groups" will yield some results. Attend the group, meeting, or class and see if the group feels like a good fit. 2.

  9. Activities for Writing Groups

    Discuss your writing goals, both broadly and for the immediate future. Ask your group if those goals seem realistic. Ask group members to e-mail you with reminders of deadlines and encouragement. Create a group calendar in which you all set goals and deadlines for your writing. This calendar could be for a week, a month, a semester, a year, or ...

  10. The Creative Writing Group

    The Creative Writing Group at the NU Writing Center is a workshop-based collaborative of graduate and undergraduate writers, poets, novelists, and student authors that strives to provide an encouraging, fun place to share work with one another. Founded by Dr. Isabel Sobral Campos and Victor Hugo Mendevil, the group meets at the Writing Center ...

  11. Should you join a writing group? Understanding the pros and cons

    However, there are usually three main reasons to join a writing group: 1. You're in search of support and socialization. If you're looking to break out of your bubble, joining a writing group may be the perfect solution. Writing is, by nature, a very solitary activity. Unlike other jobs that allow you to socialize with coworkers, being an ...

  12. 11 Online Writing Clubs That Foster Support Among Writers

    Online Writing Clubs and Communities. Below are 10 great online writing clubs and communities where writers can support one another from all around the world. 1. Critique Circle. Critique Circle is an online writing community where you can review other writers' work and receive feedback on your own. Start by critiquing a few submissions to ...

  13. Writing Groups

    More Popular Writing Groups.. Free online writing communities and writing groups for fiction, nonfiction, poetry, novels, books, short short stories, and every other type of creative writing.

  14. 6 Writing Group Best Practices: How to Lead a Successful Writers Group

    Best Practice #3: Have a Plan, and Then Let It Go. I had this vision for the group and had this agenda and format I believed the group should follow. That lasted about a month, and then, I had to let it go. My agenda was not the agenda of the group. I had a plan based upon action and doing.

  15. How to Run a Successful Writing Group

    1. Create the right atmosphere. In order to get into the right creative space, you need to feel at ease with your fellow writers. Make sure new members are welcomed and introduced. And get everyone to say something in the big group at the beginning of every meeting so all members feel involved from the start.

  16. Writing Group Starter Kit

    The Writing Center has established this kit to help writers like you get a group going and help it succeed, right from the start. Starting a writing group, especially your first one, can be a little overwhelming. To help your group get off on the right foot, we've put together this collection of handouts for your group members to fill out ...

  17. 43 Creative Writing Exercises & Games For Adults

    A selection of fun creative writing exercises that can be completed solo, or with a group. Some are prompts to help inspire you to come up with story ideas, others focus on learning specific writing skills. Intro. I run a Creative Writing Meetup for adults and teens in Montpellier or online every week. We start with a 5 to 20 minute exercise ...

  18. 50 Fun Group Writing Exercises

    50 fun group writing exercises. Group writing exercises you can do with your writing circle or critique group are a fun ice-breaker and a way to get creative ideas flowing. Read 50 'fill in the blank' creative writing prompts. 'Fill in the blank' writing exercises are fun to do in a group.

  19. Writing Groups

    Writing Groups - Creative Future. Joining a peer group of writers is a really ideal way to keep your work going, get feedback and positive support. It's invaluable and we really recommend it. Here are some websites that collate other writing groups, but it's worth searching on Facebook or Google as well since these directories aren't ...

  20. Ystradgynlais Creative Writing Group

    The group is a formal community organization and funded by the National Lottery. The group chairperson is Jo Pain and Secretary, Laura Price. The aims of the group are. 1. To offer guidance for writing stories. 2. To enable sharing of creative writing skills. 3. To promote quality writing.

  21. Religions

    In this article, the authors will describe a creative writing therapeutic group program they developed based on narrative therapy and narrative medicine principles. This was a Social Science and Humanities Research Council—Partnership Engagement Grant funded project, the aim of which was to develop a facilitator's manual for people interested in offering this group, titled "Journey ...

  22. May 24, 2024 3-6pm CT

    Welcome! Join us for daily writing sprints & creative time blocks. The livestreams start at 3pm CT. We check-in & then do 6 25-minute silent time blocks. Tha...

  23. Certificate in Professional Writing

    The Professional Writing Certificate is an 18-hour credit certificate that provides students the opportunity to develop advanced workplace writing skills that combine creative thinking, analytical skills, and practical application. The certificate requires successful completion of six writing-focused courses above the freshman composition level ...

  24. Elektrostal

    Elektrostal , lit: Electric and Сталь , lit: Steel) is a city in Moscow Oblast, Russia, located 58 kilometers east of Moscow. Population: 155,196 ; 146,294 ...

  25. Winners Announced for 2024 Annual Wapsie Writing Contest

    Wind: 3 mph. UV Index: 8 Very High. Sunrise: 05:35:53 AM. Sunset: 08:34:03 PM. Create an Event. Jun. More Events. Fairbank native and award-winning novelist Betty Brandt Passick announces the ...

  26. FC Saturn-2 Moscow Region

    FC Saturn Moscow Oblast (Russian: ФК "Сатурн Московская область") was an association football club from Russia founded in 1991 and playing on professional level between 1993 and 2010. Since 2004 it was the farm club of FC Saturn Moscow Oblast. In early 2011, the parent club FC Saturn Moscow Oblast went bankrupt and dropped out of the Russian Premier League due to huge ...

  27. Elektrostal

    Elektrostal. Elektrostal ( Russian: Электроста́ль) is a city in Moscow Oblast, Russia. It is 58 kilometers (36 mi) east of Moscow. As of 2010, 155,196 people lived there.