What we're about
East Side Writers is a group of writers that meet weekly in Providence to discuss current projects. We are all striving to be better writers, and our group will offer constructive feedback in a friendly, supportive environment.
The group meets each Monday, more or less, at 5:00pm at the Rochambeau Library. Although no one is required to bring work to share, the usual procedure is to read aloud a short piece, no more than five minutes, after which others are invited to offer peer critique. If sharing work, it's helpful but not required to bring about five copies printed out so people can follow along. We end either at 6:15pm if the room has been scheduled for the Spanish class afterward or at 7:00pm otherwise.
On weeks where the library is closed for a holiday, we skip the week. We occasionally skip a week even if the library is open because of a holiday that will decrease attendance by at least half, as we did in 2016 for Rosh Hashanah and Halloween; these skips are usually decided by polling the group and are announced on Meetup. Weather-related cancellations are generally announced at least one day in advance, and the group always cancels if the library closes due to weather.
Comments, suggestions, and helpful criticism lead to an informal discussion among the group, offering insight and analysis. Usually material read is work in progress, but there are few restrictions and it can be anything of your own work whether previously published or not, including fiction, non-fiction, essay, opinion, and even poetry. Most often work is heading for, or at least intended for, publication, but this is not a requirement.
There are no age or content restrictions, although it is not unusual for attendees to be as young as 15 or 16 and in high school. Some adult writers are working on sexually explicit content appropriate to their genre, such as romance novels, and while this is ordinarily not a problem they are asked to refrain from presenting such work at any particular meeting where it may be inappropriate for the particular mix of attendees that week.
Although the main focus is the written content itself, discussions frequently address publication considerations such as marketing and independent publishing options. A number of the more regular attendees have personal connections with the Association of Rhode Island authors -- http://www.riauthors.org -- although there is no formal relationship between the groups.
The group is absolutely free to attend.