Writing Group Resources

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?