When you join, you become part of a writing circle with about a dozen others. Your group meets on a private discussion board, within which three things happen: instructions and warmups, individual writing, and feedback. Here’s how each of them work.
Each week there’s a new idea and an accompanying writing exercise. The exercise takes ten to fifteen minutes to complete, and both gets you writing, and gives you practice in this week’s technique. All the warmups your group does are posted together, and you're welcome to offer responses to other members of your group.
After completing the warmup, you’ll write for at least an hour on a subject of your choice, in whatever form you choose. This writing can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, prose...whatever. It may be a completely new piece or a sequel to or revision of an earlier piece. You can write in a word processor and then paste your writing, or you can use The Writers’ Croft’s bulletin board to write. These pieces are posted online, together with your request for the kind of feedback you would like to receive.
All this writing will be responded to by Peter Marmorek, who coordinates The Writers’ Croft. As well, at some point every week, you and every other member of your group will respond to the writing of at least three other people. It’s an absolute requirement that this feedback be supportive and positive, and there are guidelines on how to do that for those who have registered. This means that you will be receiving at least four responses to your work. And of course, you are encouraged to respond to any of these responses and enter into a dialogue.
All of this communication can happen either publicly, by posting within the discussion groups or privately through personal mail. You can think of personal mail as a local email system, allowing communication within your writing group. It uses the name under which you have chosen to write on The Writers’ Croft, not your home email address. At no point would anyone in your group know anything about who you really are or where you live except what you chose to reveal.
There are three things that make The Writers’ Croft a powerful and enjoyable way to improve your writing. Personal choice: you get to choose the nature of the writing you do, the kind of feedback you want, and the time when you’re able to participate. Support: you write in an environment that is both supportive and personalized, with people who respond to your writing in the ways you want and take your work seriously. Experience: what happens in The Writers’ Croft comes out of years of successful experience in running writing groups, in teaching writing, and in online education.
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