Skip to content

Suggested Writing Groups near California

Shut Up & Write!® Online Events

San Francisco, CA

Shut Up & Write!® Online Events

Go to www.shutupwrite.com/organizers to host events for this Meetup!

At Shut Up & Write, we believe in the power of community—now more than ever. That’s why we’ve set up a variety of accountability structures online to keep you inspired to write from the safety of your home.

Online Events 

Organizers can now organize online events through MeetUp. We’ve created a step-by-step guide for organizers to create an online event here.

Virtual Chapter

We’ve launched a Virtual Chapter on our website! Discuss your daily progress, try your hand at a writing prompt, and share writing advice and tips in our new forums.

Word Sprints 

What’s a word sprint? We set a timer for 30 minutes and write, then report back with word counts and cheer each other on. Every weekday at 3pm PDT, we’re running #wordsprints on our Twitter account! Join in the fun @shutupwrite.

Monthly Challenges 

Sign up for one of our free Monthly Writing Challenges, where we provide prompts for five days or more to inspire your writing.

Tell us your thoughts! 

We welcome your suggestions and feedback – we want to support you in your writing practice. Reach out at questions@shutupwrite.com to let us know how we can help or if you’d like to get more involved with our efforts.

4228 members · Public

Shut Up & Write!® Greater Sacramento Area

Sacramento, CA

Shut Up & Write!® Greater Sacramento Area

For more virtual events, join our Online Events Meetup here: https://www.meetup.com/shutupandwriteonlineevents/ 

Shut Up & Write!® is more than a movement, more than a good idea. We’re a method of writing that delivers. As an international organization, we are thousands of writers in a worldwide community, but most importantly, we are writers who write together in a local cafe. Join us.

We have events every week, all over. Sometimes we talk after. Whatever you’re writing, whatever form it takes, wherever you are in your process, you won’t be the only one.

And if you need help with your writing, we offer that too.

Want to know more? Check us out: www.shutupwrite.com. Or get in touch: questions@shutupwrite.com.

Meetup Event Format

It is an empowering and rewarding experience to write an hour each week, at the same time and place. It serves as powerful support for building your daily writing discipline.

RSVP and please arrive 10–15 minutes early to get settled. At the Meetup our Organizer will lead introductions and then everyone will sit down and write.

Afterwards, feel free to get to know each other. Members often talk about their successes and challenges as writers. The Shut Up & Write!® format brings a social facet to a normally isolated craft.

Our Meetups are a safe space for writers to work on their craft. No one will read or critique your writing.

“Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don't feel I should be doing something else.“ - Gloria Steinem

This is your time to write.

2363 members · Public

Poetry Connected (Zoom)

Oakland, CA

Poetry Connected (Zoom)

Welcome! This is an outlet to share our words, creativity, emotions! Come join us - read, listen, and delve into the meaning of poetry! Expect a judgement-free, supportive space to share your work, or respectively enjoy that of others. Positive critique is welcomed in the monthly workshop. 

Founded in April 2016 by Jeff Reed, Poetry Connected (formerly known as Walnut Creek Poetry Meetup) has continued to support local Bay Area poets with a supportive, judgement-free space. Leadership was passed to Ana Delgadillo and co-host Keith Mark Gaboury in November 2020.

Poetry Connected hopes to create a spark and appetite for poetry, spoken word, and expression in the heart of the East Bay -- and light the world on fire with curiosity and hope.


• Monday Night Poetry - Casual gathering on Zoom to be CREATIVE and call upon your inner MUSE. We will provide a prompt to help get you started.

• On the last Monday of the month, we will have a workshop group instead of a prompt. You are welcomed to bring work from prompt nights or new work that you would like feedback on. This is a supportive group where we give each other CONSTRUCTIVE criticism. Please leave all negativity outside and be respectful when giving feedback. It is the writer's choice to take the feedback given. 


Due to Covid the following will be postponed until further notice.


Poetry in the Park — Words on the wind at a Contra Costa County park.

• Pop-up Poetry — Spoken words at random pop-up locations in the East Bay.

• aMUSEing — Write and share ekphrastic poetry inspired by art installations in the East Bay.

• Poetry Field trip — Let's go abroad and join other Meetups and Poetry enthusiasts throughout the Bay Area.

481 members · Public

East Bay Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers

Berkeley, CA

East Bay Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers

Welcome to EBSFFW! The group is open to anyone 18 years old or older who is writing in the genre or who enjoys it enough to read other people's writing and provide serious and supportive critique. What kind of writing? Screenplays, novels, short stories, YA...you name it. We share our writing before the monthly critique meeting, so the meeting itself is straight-up discussion. And our members are successful! You can browse some of our publications here: (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1mmymFcCAhoMvl-faLuUxHZVMk27EVnXVevc7GwnrGQU/edit?usp=sharing).

Interested in submitting? The first step is coming to a meeting! We want to make sure you're familiar with EBSFFW's style of critique and that you're a real, live human before we accept manuscripts to send on to our members. We don't have too many rules about what you can submit, but we do offer short fiction and novel critiques at different times. Here are the full submission guidelines:

Submission Guidelines

Have you come to a meeting and are ready to submit? Email your work to becca@gomezfarrell.com after reading those guidelines above. Our admin team will fit your shorter fiction or excerpts (<7,000 words) into the critique queue, and you have to submit once to our regular monthly session before we'll schedule a critique of your larger work (>7,000 words).

Lately, we've had a waitlist for critiques - you can see how far ahead we are scheduling them here:

Critique Queue

Finally, just how do we critique work at EBSFFW? Take the time to look over our Rules of Engagement:

Rules of Engagement 

It's not that complicated, we promise. Any questions left? Just send one of the organizers a message. We are listed right below this box. Or come to one of our Craft Klatsches! Those are just for casual talk about all our writing careers.

663 members · Public

Shut Up & Write!® SF Bay Area

San Francisco, CA

Shut Up & Write!® SF Bay Area

For more virtual events, join our Online Events Meetup here: https://www.meetup.com/shutupandwriteonlineevents/ 

Shut Up & Write!® is more than a movement, more than a good idea. We’re a method of writing that delivers. As an international organization, we are thousands of writers in a worldwide community, but most importantly, we are writers who write together in a local cafe. Join us.

We have events every week, all over. Sometimes we talk after. Whatever you’re writing, whatever form it takes, wherever you are in your process, you won’t be the only one.

And if you need help with your writing, we offer that too.

Want to know more? Check us out: www.shutupwrite.com. Or get in touch: questions@shutupwrite.com.

Meetup Event Format

It is an empowering and rewarding experience to write an hour each week, at the same time and place. It serves as powerful support for building your daily writing discipline.

RSVP and please arrive 10–15 minutes early to get settled. At the Meetup our Organizer will lead introductions and then everyone will sit down and write.

Afterwards, feel free to get to know each other. Members often talk about their successes and challenges as writers. The Shut Up & Write!® format brings a social facet to a normally isolated craft.

Our Meetups are a safe space for writers to work on their craft. No one will read or critique your writing.

“Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don't feel I should be doing something else.“ - Gloria Steinem

This is your time to write.

6720 members · Public

Creative Spirit Screenwriters

Culver City, CA

Creative Spirit Screenwriters

Read Scripts and Provide Feedback Online Via Zoom The purpose of this group is to support writers in learning, practicing, and fine-tuning the craft of screenwriting. We provide a safe environment for screenwriters to solicit and provide constructive feedback, share ideas, and hear their words read aloud. This group supports the development of professional screenwriters, so please be respectful and supportive of others’ goals and ideas. The name “Creative Spirit” comes from a Native American filmmaking initiative. We encourage diverse scripts by Indigenous, Black, POC, LGBTQ, and women writers. Scripts by straight white men are okay too. Although the name says “screenwriters,” we’ll consider anything in script format, including plays and comic books. We’re creative like that. We also welcome actors who want to practice their table-read skills with "live" screenplays. Help us poor screenwriters who stumble over our own words. If you wish to submit pages to have read during the meetup, you must RSVP on Meetup and say you're submitting "pages" to reserve a spot. Each week we'll read four sets of pages in the order their authors RSVP’d. New members may sign up for pages after attending one meeting and observing. New members, please give your email address to the organizers so they can share the Google Drive folder with you. Members having their pages read should deposit 10-15 pages of their original script into their Google Drive folder in PDF format. Writers cast readers for the characters and narration out of the meeting's attendees. Readings are followed by open critique, which should be geared toward helping writers improve their work. Bring an open mind, be respectful of your peers, and together we’ll have fun.

42 members · Public

Valley Writers Group

Fresno, CA

Valley Writers Group

The Valley Writers Group started in September of 2011. We usually meet in libraries on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month. Our goal is to help each other to become better writers. If you want someone to critique your manuscript, you are asked to help other writers by critiquing their manuscripts. If you’d want to sit in on a meeting and decide if we’re the right fit for you, you’re welcome to join us. Our members range from beginners to published authors and novelists. Each meeting has a critique session. Members email each other a maximum of 4,000 words one week before our meetings so we can critique them at our meetings. We don’t exist to crush someone’s spirit, we help authors to improve their writing by telling them what we like and what could be improved.

Here are a few commonly asked questions and answers. Please take a look at them if you’re not sure if you should join us.

Are there any membership dues to join?

No, but if you’d like to pitch in to keep our meetings posted on MeetUp, we’d welcome that.

I’ve written a story, a novel, or something else. Do I have to attend meetings to have it critiqued?

Yes. If you want our help, we’d like your help too. You can learn a lot about writing during our face-to-face critique sessions.

I’m a beginner. How can I critique someone else’s writing?

Let them know what you liked and let them know if you had trouble understanding something an author wrote.

Can I send my manuscript to the group to be critiqued before my first meeting?

Sorry, no. If you want our help, you must attend a meeting first. You’ll witness how we critique each other’s work and see if you’d like to do the same thing.

I just want my novel edited. Can I send my whole novel to the group?

No. We’re not an editing service. That’s a lot of work, kind of like asking somebody if they’ll mow your yard for a year. However, lots of members send out chapters of their novels to be critiqued at our meetings.

I can’t attend every meeting because I work or go to school. Can I still join the Valley Writers Group? Yes, but don’t ask us to critique your writing if you’re not going to be at the meeting to return the favor.

I’ve been in another writers group where members would make toxic comments. Does this happen in your group?

If anybody tries this with our group, they’ll be warned once and asked to leave if it happens a second time. We’re here to help each other to become better writers, not to convince anyone they should give up their dreams.

49 members · Public

Women Screenwriters Workshop

Los Angeles, CA

Women Screenwriters Workshop

We are a community of aspiring film and television screenwriters providing support and script feedback for writers who identify as female or nonbinary. Our members workshop their scripts with the goal of submitting their work to contests, fellowships, and writing labs throughout the year. **GENERAL INFO:** Script submissions open 30 DAYS PRIOR to each Meetup, and are open to all members who have RSVP'd for that event. Projects emailed to womenwritersLA@gmail.com are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis for each workshop. Once your project has been confirmed, you are welcome to revise your draft up until the final deadline posted on the event page. Script spot availability is posted in the COMMENTS section of each event page. Scripts submitted by waitlisted writers may be accepted as alternates. Workshops are typically posted 6 weeks prior to the event and we can accommodate 10-12 attendees per session. Once the 10-12 spots are full, all other RSVPs will be waitlisted. Update your Meetup RSVP status if you cannot attend or don't have time to read the scripts -- that's the only way a waitlisted writer can take your spot. Be sure to check the event details for your specific workshop, as we have various types of critique sessions! **30 PAGE SCRIPT WORKSHOPS:** We critique up to 30 PAGES of FOUR SCRIPTS at this Meetup. Writers can submit a maximum of 30 script pages per workshop (any 30 pages of your draft, it does not have to be the first 30). If you are submitting pages beyond 1-30, you can include all preceding pages as reference. Extra pages are allowed if your script ends between page 30-37. **10 PAGE SCRIPT WORKSHOPS:** We critique the FIRST 10 PAGES of up to SIX SCRIPTS. Our focus here is on creating a solid hook and effective logline. Writers must also submit a 1 page "worksheet" detailing their script's genre and themes. **TV SERIES BIBLE WORKSHOPS:** We critique up to 25 PAGES of FOUR SERIES BIBLES at this Meetup. Writers should have a completed TV Pilot prior to crafting their series bible (however your pilot script does not need to be critiqued at a workshop). Writers must also submit a 1 page "worksheet" detailing their series genre and synopsis. **PEER REVIEW (SCRIPT SWAP) WORKSHOPS:** Writers who submit a completed film or TV script are matched with 1 or 2 fellow writers to trade FULL SCRIPTS for feedback. There is no Zoom meeting for this session -- the "event" date is your script submission deadline. After being matched, writers will have 8 days to read their partner's script(s) and email their feedback. **HOW OUR WORKSHOPS WORK:** 1.) Each reader shares their top 3 to 5 comments on each script. 2.) The writer has an opportunity to ask questions. 3.) Open forum for logline discussion and more comments from readers (save any formatting comments for this round). **WHAT CAN I SUBMIT?** Feature film, short film, TV pilots, TV specs, limited series and webisodes are all accepted. Scripts should be saved as PDFs, formatted in industry standard, and include a title page. If you are submitting a TV SPEC (a series that is currently airing), please include your "previously on" synopsis on page ii after the title page. Neither of these go against your page count. First time screenwriters are welcome -- our only requirement is a properly formatted script! See below for writer resources and sample scripts. **WHAT IF I WANT TO SUBMIT A LATER ACT?** No problem! It's recommended that you include all preceding pages as reference. For example, if you're submitting pages 61-90 for critique, your PDF should include pages 1-90. Attendees are not obligated to read more than 30 pages per writer, but it can be helpful to have the entire script. Just be sure to specify WHICH 30 pages you want critiqued. **WHAT IF MY SCRIPT ISN'T READY YET?** If you'd like to participate, but aren't ready to submit your own work, that's okay! All members are welcome at critiques.  **HOW DO I PREPARE SCRIPT FEEDBACK?:** There's no right or wrong way to give feedback, as long as it's done with respect. We want to hear your honest thoughts about what you've read! The best critiques are ACTIONABLE -- meaning the writer can make specific changes based on your notes. Here are some ideas to get started: \- which character resonated with you most\.\.\. and why? \- did any scenes feel too short or too long? which ones? \- is there clear conflict between characters? could there be more? \- were any parts of the plot confusing or unbelievable?  \- did each character speak in a unique voice? could you tell them apart based on dialogue alone? \- did every scene move the story forward? if not\, which could be cut or expanded? **GROUP TENETS:** Above all, we aim to provide a safe and respectful environment for group discussion. As a member of this group we ask that everyone abide by these tenets: \- We will provide thoughtful and respectful feedback for all writers who submit their work for critique\. \- We will allow every participant the opportunity to speak and be heard\. \- We will not single out any member\(s\) of our group based on religion\, race\, national origin\, disability\, age\, gender identity\, or sexual orientation\. \- We will never share any member’s script pages or conceptual ideas without their explicit consent\. **WRITER RESOURCES:** Sample outlines, scripts & pitches (Film and TV): [https://johnaugust.com/library](https://johnaugust.com/library) Produced feature scripts:  [https://gointothestory.blcklst.com/script-download-links-9313356d361c](https://gointothestory.blcklst.com/script-download-links-9313356d361c) [https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B5lHQAVEce61clFSSzVJbHR4bUk](https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B5lHQAVEce61clFSSzVJbHR4bUk) Produced TV scripts:  [https://sites.google.com/site/tvwriting/us-drama/pilot-scripts](https://sites.google.com/site/tvwriting/us-drama/pilot-scripts) [https://sites.google.com/site/tvwriting/us-comedy/pilot-scripts](https://sites.google.com/site/tvwriting/us-comedy/pilot-scripts) [http://thetelevisionpilot.com/script-database/](http://thetelevisionpilot.com/script-database/) Sample TV bibles & pitches: [https://sites.google.com/site/tvwriting/bibles](https://sites.google.com/site/tvwriting/bibles) **COPYRIGHT:** Our expectation is that all scripts shared within the group are the sole property of the person who wrote them. Scripts are not to be shared outside the group or distributed for any purpose other than WSW critique sessions. Nonetheless, it is highly recommended that you register your work with the WGA or the US Copyright Office. Protecting your own work is your responsibility as a writer. WGA West: https://www.wgawregistry.org/ WGA East: https://www.wgaeast.org/mo/script_registration/registrations US Copyright Office: https://www.copyright.gov/registration/ **CANCELLATION POLICY:** Attendance is mandatory for writers who submit their scripts for critique. If your pages have been distributed to the group and you cannot attend, you MUST contact the organizer immediately so that the group can be notified. All other attendees can cancel their RSVP prior to the Meetup.  Please note that repeated NO-SHOWS (members who register for a Meetup, but do not attend and fail to cancel their RSVP) will be let go from the group.  **QUESTIONS? COMMENTS? SUGGESTIONS?** Your feedback is always welcomed. Please message or email the organizer directly.

452 members · Public

Los Angeles Writers Critique Group

Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles Writers Critique Group

We are a group dedicated to writing, finishing, and publishing a novel, memoir, or short story. We critique each others' work and serve as a support group for helping writers plot, organize, and publish their writing. Historically, we've met at the San Rafael and the Silver Lake Libraries. In 2020, we moved online to Zoom. The format goes like this: There is a presentation and discussion on the day's subject. After, we begin the critiques.

The submission format is as follows:

(1) submit up to 10 pages, double-spaced

(2) use 1" margins all around;

(3) use 12-point Times New Roman or Courier font

(4) save files in MS Word format. PDFs okay. (5) number the pages

(6) be sure that the book's title and your name are the header.

(7) give your file name this format: FirstnameLastname-TitleOfBook-Genre-DateOfCritique.docx

If you are in the middle of the story, please write a single-spaced introductory paragraph or two outlining major plot points so far and the theme of the work. Include short bios for two or three major characters.

Submissions are due at 11:59 p.m. on the Sunday before we meet.  Email them to docs@lawriterscritiquegroup.com, and put "Submission" in the subject line. You will receive instructions on how to download submissions for your reading and critique.

We divide the critique time by the number of submissions so that all writers get equal time.

We finish up around 12 or 12:30pm.


Our policies

We’ve developed a system of checks and balances to ensure that all writers benefit from our group. Two main approaches are discussed with newcomers to ensure that everyone gets the most for their efforts.


First Absorb, Then Ask and Discuss

At our in-person meetings, we are organized by group.  Each group occupies a table and takes turns giving feedback to the people who’ve submitted.

When your work is being critiqued, we ask that you absorb the information first… not explain it or answer a bunch of questions from the people giving you their feedback.  Save your questions for when the feedback has stopped and it’s your turn to ask questions of the people who’ve provided you with feedback, or perhaps explain a part of the story that may not have been clear to them when they read your work initially.

Should any obligation prevent you from attending a meeting for which you’ve submitted work for critique, you can provide feedback to your fellow writers, and receive feedback, virtually. You would need to send the files to the group that weekend to either pasadenawriters@gmail.com or docs@lawriterscritiquegroup.com. See the Critique Reciprocity Rule below for clarification.


Timing is Everything

If a group is large, it is sometimes necessary to time each person’s critique so that all of the writers receive feedback during the library session.  In this instance, group co-leaders or trusted regulars may be charged with this task. Usually a cell phone is used to time each critique.

Keep in mind that each person providing feedback deserves the respect of the group. Group members, as well as the person receiving the feedback, are encouraged to be quiet and allow that person the floor.


Critique Reciprocity Rule

Every person who submits a manuscript must critique the manuscripts in his/her group and submit them for distribution no later than the day following the meetup, Sunday, at 11:59 p.m. The other writers read yours; you have to read theirs.  If you do not critique as assigned, note the following:

You will not be able to submit a manuscript for the next session for which you RSVP. For that session, you will be assigned the role of Reader and will have to critique the manuscripts in your group and submit them on time. This applies to 10-page and 30-page submissions only.If you do not submit critiques more than once, you will not be permitted to submit again for three months.If you have questions, contact us at docs@lawriterscritiquegroup.com. This applies to 10-page and 30-page submissions only.If a submitter of the ‘long-form manuscripts’ (such as first 100 pages or full manuscript) does not critique all of the manuscripts in his/ her group, that submitter will not be permitted to submit manuscripts in the future. 


Be Respectful or Leave

This group comes together to help each other become better writers. Disruptive behavior that can steal focus from our primary goal–to help each other become better writers–is discouraged. Our members and co-organizers are volunteers; no one is paid to listen to complaints or to change rules because one person wants to be exempt from them. We come together with a positive goal in mind. We expect our members to treat each other with respect before, during, and after our meetings. We expect constructive critiques. This is not to say that uncomfortable issues cannot be discussed in our critique group meetings. Insights that help us become better writers are welcomed. However, disruptive and self-aggrandizing behavior are not welcome. Members who disrespect others will be asked to leave.


1119 members · Public