Reading Groups, Writing Groups

Natasha Hildenbrandt shares details of her writing group over at the Times.

We meet after work, once a week, in a conference room we pay to use, united by a common desire to write, the need for a deadline, the appreciation of feedback from one another.

We’re used to getting together to read, so why not to write? A group means that you don’t have to abandon your life for a year for a creative writing course. It helps you to keep the juices flowing while finding the encouragement and mutual respect that are their own reward.

This sounds entirely exotic to me, as I can only write if I am left alone, but Hildenbrandt speaks very highly of her writing group, and even offers up tips for others who wish to do the same. Then she asks several authors about their reading groups, or at the very least their first readers.