Joining a local literary community can seem like a daunting task if you aren’t familiar with the options in your area. Not only can it be difficult to find a group that fits your individual style - there’s also the issue of finding groups in the first place. To help you get started, we’ve made a list with a few different places that often host or advertise such groups.
- Community centers
- Art centers
- Independent bookstores
- Literary magazines
After finding a few groups that interest you, attend their meetings to learn more about the groups and see if they’ll be a good fit for you. It can be a little awkward at first, especially if the members of each group seem comfortable and familiar with one another. You might feel like you’re trespassing, or like you don’t belong. But just remember - they advertised the group for a reason. They want to bring in new people.
The next step is figuring out which of these groups is the best match for you. You want to find a community that fits you and your writing.
- Does the group fit your writing genre?
- Do you already know any of the people in the group?
- Have you attended more than one of their meetings?
- Is there a group that is focused on a topic that you are passionate about?
Don’t forget to consider the necessary time commitment. If you really like a group but don’t think you have time to be a full member, see if you can do an event with them or speak to them about your experience as an author. Most literary communities are always looking for new people to share their stories.
If you truly can’t find a local group that meets your needs, consider starting your own. You never know; there might be a dozen other authors nearby who are waiting for a group like the one you could create. But don’t give up hope in the meantime. When you find the right literary community, you’ll know - and you’ll thrive with them.