One of the greatest gifts I’ve received from my membership in Story Circle Network is the blessing of community. My sisters in my internet writing circles convinced me that my story is worth telling, and helped me find my voice to speak up and share my life with others. Some of them, through death or circumstance, have left my life forever; others are still a part of my writing life, offering support, encouragement and insight whenever I share a story with them.
Our internet writing circles were established to give our members a safe place to share their life stories with others. Members respond to a monthly prompt, and others respond to their writings in a supportive, positive manner. These circles help us develop and keep up our writing practices, while at the same time giving feedback so we can improve and grow as writers.
Sometimes, though, we need a little more. A little more personal connection. A little more encouragement to be consistent in our writing and work toward our goals. A little more advice and insight from people who are doing what we’re doing. A little more sense of community and fellowship. A little more companionship on the paths we walk as writers.
To provide this “little more” Story Circle is pleased to announce our Online Writers’ Roundtables. We developed these groups as a place for members to share goals, discuss issues arising from our writing practice, learn from what others are doing, and to offer advice, support, and encouragement.
LifeWriters is for startup writers who are looking for encouragement and help in developing a consistent, focused writing practice through journaling, memoir, fiction, or poetry. The group is fairly structured, with email discussions facilitated by an experienced facilitator and focused on writing activities.
Caroline Ziel, moderator of LifeWriters, has been a member of SCN for five years, and has facilitated both a writing circle and the reading circle.
“My favorite part of SCN is building relationships with the splendid women of my circle, and also the women that I write with in classes. Craftwise, I have grown hugely through the writing classes–especially poetry and nature writing.
The mentoring that I have received here has been life changing for me, and I hope that our Round Table will provide that to all of us who participate! Before SCN, I felt like an “accidental” writer. Through the support that I have received here, I have grown to accept and embrace my abilities as a writer, and hope that will be a centerpiece of the Round Table: accepting, embracing, and nurturing our abilities as writers.”
Writer2Writer is an intermediate group for writers who have already developed a fairly mature, consistent writing practice and are working on defined writing projects in any genre. Loosely structured email discussions include topics of interest generated by group members.
Moderator Pat Bean was a longtime member of the original Lifewriters group that dissolved last year. She’s a former journalist, now a free-lance writer mostly doing travel and nature articles.She writes a monthly blog for Tucson Happenings, a birding blog for Tucson Audubon, and am in the final stages of finishing a travel book, Travels with Maggie, about her nine years spent traveling and living in a small RV with my canine companion Maggie.
“I’m looking forward to acting as a support system for writers of all experience. I worked a lot with young reporters when I was a city editor and some of them still keep in touch with me, so I assume I was helpful. But in writing we each have strengths that can be shared with others, so I’m also looking forward to learning things too.”
WorkInProgress is for writers who have either been published or are working on specific projects aimed at near-term publication. Unstructured discussion topics in this group include writing and editing, publishing (traditional and independent), marketing, working with agents, platform development, and similar topics.
Susan Tweit, one of the founding members of the WorkInProgress group, shares her insight and experience with the group, saying,
“The first word I think of when I think of the WIP group is “community,” which comes from the root for “common,” something shared. What we share is a drive to write, whether we’re working on our first book or our many-dozenth. Perhaps more importantly what WIPpers share is a respect for each other and a desire to support each other in that writing. We share our writing triumphs and challenges each week, our smart list-mom shares links to interesting information about various aspects of writing from social media use to marketing to bookstore, we share what works for us in writing and marketing and publicity, and what doesn’t. That community of women writers “talking” in listserv form about our work has given me powerful motivation to take my work deeper and to persevere when I’ve doubted myself. It’s also given me the grace of laughter and the balm of sympathy, and the blessing of friendship. The WIP group is a gift to my work and my life.”
Another member, Susan Schoch, adds,
“Though I have published and self-published several books, I had no real grasp of the full process needed to successfully create and market a book, until I joined the Work in Progress group. WIP members include not just accomplished writers, but also experts in social media, in traditional publishing, in self-publishing, in design, and more. Our online discussions are rich and continue to teach me every day, because members are generous with information and support. This lively community of writing women has turned out to be just what I needed to fill a gaping knowledge gap and to keep me writing.”
Not sure what group you fit into? Don’t worry, we will help you find the roundtable best suited to you and where you are with your writing. If you’d like to join one of these SCN members-only groups, please go here(http://www.storycircle.org/WritersRoundtables.shtml) to tell us about your interests. We’ll help you find the group that seems best suited to your writing interest and experience. Not a member? Go here to join us.
Khadijah and her family homestead on 25 acres in the Ozarks. They spent ten years living in Yemen in the capital city of Sana’a as well as in both mountain and seaside villages. She is a student, teacher, herbalist, writer and translator who has had several books published on the subject of Islaam, as well as a children’s poetry book. She is currently working on a women’s herbal book and a poetry book for adults, as well as her own story which you can read about at Yemeni Journey. She also writes about sustainable living at Wide Earth.