Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Writers Group Alert

New York playwrights, this one's for you! I just saw a posting on for writers to join a weekly writing group. If you have a play you've been working on, or the idea for a play, this could be a great opportunity to get some solid, useful feedback on it. Being in The League has been tremendous for my writing, so I know first-hand the benefits of being in a writers group. 

Just keep in mind a few things if you join/form a writers group:

1) The point of these groups is to share your work and get feedback on it; don't be shy. Produce pages, show them to the group, but...

2) Be open to receiving honest feedback. This means that you might not get 100% praise all the time. Writers group members should be open not only to getting constructive criticism, but also to giving it. Don't shut down or become overly defensive if people start to tell you that your story isn't working or hitting yet. You're there to make your piece as strong as it can be, and sometimes outside readers can more readily tell if something isn't adding up than the author can.

 3) At the same time, keep in mind that you're not competing with the other members, and your jobs isn't to tear their work apart - it's to help them. If someone wrote something that is mind blowingly good, praise them. Good for them. You might be pissed your work isn't at that level yet, but wit your group members' help, it will get there. 

4) Lastly, even if you didn't respond well at all to a play/script, it always helps to try to find something positive to incorporate into your feedback, even if for no other reason than to maintain good relations among the members of the group. The group meetings should be as open and honest as possible, and bad blood makes that difficult to achieve.

Good luck to any who sign up for the group! May it help you produce many beautiful plays.