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About York Writers

As a group, our aim is to help writers at all levels - whether you're just beginning to write, or are ready to start submitting your writing for publication, or you already have a track record of published work. Our meetings are designed to help you improve your writing and learn about outlets that might be willing to publish it. If you are considering publishing your work yourself - either on the internet, in print form, or as an e-book - our members have a wealth of expertise that will be able to help you.

Writing can be a lonely occupation and it has its share of disappointments. So we are also a community of writers that aims to encourage and support one another, and to give each other time and space for "works in progress" to be heard.

Finally, we recognise that none of us ever stop learning, no matter how long or how successfully we may have been writing. We aim to provide an atmosphere that encourages writers to develop and improve their craft by offering advice, constructive criticism, and the opportunity to share our work with one another.

Local Writers' Nights

Members, guests and visitors are warmly invited to bring your own writing to our Local Writers' Nights where we share our short stories, poems, articles, extracts of novels, pieces of biography, anything we've created. Newcomers are welcome to come along and either bring something to read for us, or relax and enjoy others' creative work. The atmosphere is informal; there is no pressure to read your work if you don't want to, and your writing will not be aggressively critiqued. 

Workshops and speaker meetings

From time to time we invite "the professionals" to come and give us expert hints and tips about aspects of writing. These may be established authors, creative writing tutors, people in the publishing business, or members of the group who have had particular success in one area of writing. Guests and visitors are warmly invited to join us. It's always worth bringing along a pen and paper - you never know when you might be encouraged to join in with a writing exercise.

Competitions

Historically, York Writers has always run a series of competitions through the year, for members to submit new work for a possible cash prize.

External competitions are judged by a professional writer from outside the group. As well as choosing the winners they will offer some commentary and critique on all the entries submitted - so if you want to get professional advice on your writing this is an excellent opportunity!

In 2016 we held competitions for both poetry, judged by JT Welsch and short stories, judged by Guy Mankowski.

Internal competitions are judged by members of York Writers on the night.

For more details: York Writers competitions are open to members only. If you would like to get in touch to ask about membership of York Writers or the rules of our competitions, please visit the Contact Us page on this site.

Manuscript critique group

We believe that constructive criticism is an essential part of developing any writer's craft. Our Manuscript Critique Group meets in the second half of the month to provide a safe space for comment and detailed critique on members' work. The group is aimed at getting members' work to a publishable standard as well as helping members to improve and develop their skills as writers. However the group is a friendly and supportive group - its aim is to encourage, not discourage!

New writers as well as those with more experience are welcome to join the group. We recognise that having your work critiqued for the first time can be intimidating. We will try and make the experience as gentle as possible by finding out a little about you and your work, and tailoring our critique so that it is helpful for you at your own level of experience. At the same time, you will be welcome to join in giving critique on other members' work. Doing this, and listening to what others have to say, will help you develop a deeper insight into the writer's craft and a greater understanding of your own strengths and areas of possible improvement as a writer.

If you are interested in taking part please leave a message at the Contact Us page. Note that the Manuscript Critique Group is open to York Writers members only.

Novelists' Support Group

Writing a novel? Thinking about writing a novel? Then our Novelists' Support Group could be just the thing for you! Writing long fiction brings its own special challenges - character development, plotting, staying motivated when you're mid-way through the work - and our support group meets to help writers who are wrestling with those challenges. The group is informal, relaxed and supportive; it meets once a month at a private address, to exchange ideas and information with a view to inspiring, motivating and encouraging the production and publication of completed manuscripts. Members of the group write in a range of genres, from fantasy and magic realism to romance and historical fiction. What they all have in common is a desire to see their manuscripts published and to help others on the way.

If you think our Novelists' Support Group might be just the thing for you, please leave a message at the Contact Us page and we'll be happy to let you know more. Please note that the Novelists' Support Group is open to members of York Writers only and that admission to the group is strictly by invitation.

Joining York Writers

Membership of York Writers currently costs £20 per year (waged) or £13 per year (unwaged) which includes attendance to meetings. We strongly encourage anyone thinking of joining us to come along to a couple of meetings and try us out - "audition" us, if you like - to make sure we are the type of group for you.