Writing Group Resources
Basic Page Sidebar Menu Penn GSC
Whether you’re working on a dissertation, journal article, or other writing project, writing groups are a great way to help one another make progress and meet deadlines, by providing accountability and encouragement along the way.
Set Expectations and Ground Rules
We encourage you to schedule a meeting with the group to discuss why you joined and what you hope to gain from participating in a writing group. You may also want to share the challenges or habits that affect your writing. Finally, you should discuss preferences for how – and how often – the group with meet. If it’s helpful (we think it is), you can write up a set of “ground rules” and a set of shared goals for the group. These steps will help set the tone and clarify shared expectations for future sessions.
Your group may decide to schedule a regular meeting time or you may close each meeting by scheduling the next meeting. We recommend setting a rough agenda for each meeting (what goals you hope to reach, what you will be discussing, location/format), you will make it easier for group members to start helping each other with setting – and reaching – clear writing goals.
- How often will you meet as a group?
- When will you meet? What days and times - and for how long?
- Where will you meet? You may choose to meet in person (in a coffee shop, the library, etc.) or virtually via Zoom or a similar video chat.
- What will you do during the meetings? What activities or topics will you cover?
Options could include:
- Writing silently together
- Reporting on goals and progress
- Setting and discussing goals
- Exchanging and providing feedback on your written materials
- Sharing challenges and tips related to productivity and writing habits
- Social or personal conversations
- How will you track and measure the success of the group?
- Would you like assistance or support from the Grad Center?
Why do you want to join a writing group?
What kinds of things do you think a writing group will help you do better?
How do you think you can help others in your writing group?
What, for you, would be the best possible outcome of your involvement with this writing group?
What is your biggest challenge as a writer? What kinds of critiques have you received from teachers, colleagues, friends, and others?
What is your greatest strength in relation to writing?
If you could change one thing about your writing or your writing process, what would it be?
How often would you like to meet with a writing group? Daily? Weekly? Every other week?
In general, would you prefer to meet in the morning, the afternoon, or the evening?
Would you like to meet in the same place every time or meet in different locations?
Would you like to meet somewhere quiet or somewhere with more activity or background noise (such as a cafe or the Grad Center)?
Would you prefer to meet somewhere that has food/coffee/drinks available?