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Welcome to my blog. Here, you will find information about my novels, life in Japan, as well as author interviews, discussions on writing, and more. Feel free to browse and if you enjoy a post, please comment. Thanks for reading!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Iwakuni Author Roundtable

Last year, I joined a writer’s group here in Iwakuni, Japan. The founder is Nikki Bennett, who runs Firedrake Books. I had thought of starting a writing group on the Marine air base here, but Nikki beat me to the punch by a week.
We meet twice a month. The first meeting is usually in the library on the base. There we talk about writing and publishing, what we are working on, and other topics. The second meeting is more informal. We meet at the coffee shop Tully’s ‘in town’ (Marine speak for not being on the base) and we critique pieces we are working on and have less formal chats.
I’ve met some great people. Nikki is a middle grade/YA author, her husband is an artist, Linda and Jessica are professional photographers and bloggers, and Jason is a fountain of book and movie knowledge. I am very happy to have this group. I always look forward to our meetings.
While Facebook groups are great (IAR has its own group), physical groups have an intimacy and immediacy you can’t match. You can bounce ideas off each other immediately and get instant feedback on stuff you’re working. I’ve made some great friends here.
Writers groups can be as loose or as formal as you want. You can set schedules for workshop activities and have organized events, or just sit around and chat. I believe the biggest hurdle is continuing membership. At first, everyone may be coming. But soon life interrupts and members drop off. As long as a few people are coming, the group can survive. Don’t get discouraged if this happens to your group. Just keep it going.
How about you, readers? Are you in any writers groups? Are you thinking about starting one? 
As always, thanks for reading.

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