What we're about

2023 UPDATE: This group is nearly at capacity, and we're being more selective about who can join. When you fill out the "application," make an effort. Show us that you're someone that we want to work with and hang out with. If your application is left pending, hang tight and don't be offended. As spaces become available, we'll comb through and add more people. That said . . .

This group has been around since 2002, but we didn't join Meetup until 2013, so we never really know who's going to show up. (Fun!) We have a large email list that's completely separate from this website, and we get a few extra people per meeting just from that. Most importantly, this group is commitment-free. Some of our members attend nearly every meeting; others show up once a month or even once a year. The main rule is to bring something to work on for the first hour. No assignments. No prompts. It's just a solid chunk of quiet time that you can use however you want.

After the writing, there's a short break, and then we gather a little closer to take turns introducing ourselves. After that, we spend another hour or so doing an informal reading of our work. No one is ever forced to read -- that's not our style -- so at any given meeting, about a third or maybe half of us will end up sharing something. Some people read stuff they've been working on for a while. Others read what they've written during the hour. There's no need to bring copies because we read aloud. Each person gets eight minutes, which includes time for others to offer feedback, so we keep things moving at a pretty good pace.

People in this group have written and shared all kinds of stuff: novels, short stories, journal and diary entries, poems, personal essays, memoirs, plays, screenplays, articles, dialogues, outlines, limericks, newsletters, blogs, kids books, science fiction, erotica, comedy, book proposals, cartoon strips, wedding speeches, eulogies, and song lyrics. Anything goes, and the same is true for your writing experience. You don't have to be published or submit samples in order to join. The purpose is to have a varied crowd and a relaxed setting where we actually do some writing and have a chance to hang out and meet fellow writers, and since people often ask, we're mostly in our 20s, 30s, and 40s.

We get together every week or two. There's no regular location because we usually meet in people's homes all over the place. (If you can host, please speak up!) Once or twice a year, we meet at a big, antiquarian bookstore in midtown. In warmer months, we meet semi-regularly in Central Park and other outdoor spots. We've even taken a few road trips as a group, but we almost always stay within MetroCard range. About once per month, we meet on weekend afternoons, but we usually do our thing on weeknights from 7pm to 10:30-ish. People are welcome to show up late or leave early, so don't worry if these times aren't ideal. Can't make it for the writing hour? No problem. Come after that and check out the readings. That said, space is often limited and hosts often buy snacks/beverages based on the number of people we expect, so if you RSVP and then it turns out that you can't make it, please please PLEASE un-RSVP. This group really IS laid-back, but that's not an excuse to be flaky.

We don't have a set schedule. Some people are never free on Mondays, for example, while others can never make it on weekends, so we meet on different days of the week to accommodate everyone.

Finally, this group has always been free (and will remain so for people who are already part of it), but because it costs me more than $200 per year to have this group on Meetup, there's a one-time suggested donation of $2 -- not every time you show up, but just at the first meeting you attend.

Thanks for taking the time to read this long-ass description. Details are good, right? :)

Upcoming events (2)

Writing group meeting/party on the Upper West Side

Zack's place

A meeting on Valentine's Day?! Ooh yeah. We've done it at my place every odd-numbered year since 2011 (except for 2021 when things were extra-screwy with covid), so let's keep the tradition alive. Although it's not a requirement, everyone is encouraged to (a) bring chocolate and/or wine and (b) write and read about love and sex. And who knows? Perhaps we'll play spin the bottle and/or get a game of truth or dare going at some point late at night. If that happens, participation won't be mandatory, but if enough of you wanna turn all the talk into action, we'll make it happen.

The day before this meeting, I'll send more info including the address to everyone who RSVPs. In the meantime, in case it helps you plan, my place is not wheelchair accessible, I don't have pets, and being vaxxed for covid is required.

Please let me know if you can host a meeting. I'm always looking for spots, and it would be tremendously helpful.

Thanks and see you soon!

-Z

Writing group meeting in Fort Greene, Brooklyn

Rachel's place

Hi.

We're heading back to Brooklyn, this time at the home of one of our newer members, and it's gonna be a low-key potluck. There won't be a Google Doc of who's bringing what, but if you can show up with something to share, that'd be great. Let's do it up! Huge thanks to Rachel for offering to host.

The night before we meet, I'll send all the info including the exact address to people who RSVP. For now, in case it helps you plan, there are no pets and the apartment is wheelchair accessible.

Also, this meeting is only for people who are vaccinated for COVID-19, and yes, I will check your vax status if you haven't been to a meeting since before this whole mess started. If you’re not vaxxed, sorry but you'll have to wait to join us at an outdoor gathering. Face masks will not be required, and social distancing will not be enforced.

Thanks and see ya!

-Zack

Past events (212)

Writing group meeting in Harlem

Rachel's place