This post was first published by The Croydon Citizen on 04/07/2018.
Croydon Writers’ Group helps us share the joy of writing
In 1945, a group of professional writers came together to create what would become Croydon Writers. They aimed to encourage writing and provide a starting point for anyone who wanted to get into a writing-related profession. Back then, this was a formal group with lofty aspirations.
Fast forward just over 70 years, and Croydon Writers now provides a relaxed space where anyone who has an interest in writing can come along to gain inspiration and support.
Croydon Writers gather on the second Monday of every month in the United Reform Church. Each month brings a different focus to the meetings, including hosting visiting speakers (such as the novelists P. D. James and Andy McNab), conducting internal competitions with real prizes and sharing best practise. The group has also produced several anthologies over the years, which have found their way to the shelves of the local Waterstones.
Many of the members have had their work published
The membership is comprised of self-published authors, publishers, freelance journalists, bloggers, artists and poets. Many of the members have had their work published. In fact, the former president Jean Bowden published more than 100 novels under the pen name of Tessa Barclay. No minor achievement!
This is a group that is constantly evolving to meet the needs of its members. Take the recently set-up ‘Critique Group’ as an example. This provides constructive feedback and advises members on how to progress their writing. Anyone submitting a piece automatically attends if they wish to critique the rest of the evening’s submissions. Whilst this may sound gut wrenching to the uninitiated, the membership response to it has been phenomenal.
To its members, Croydon Writers is about camaraderie. It’s about sharing the joy of writing and having someone (or several someones) to spur you on through the slumps. So if, like the members of Croydon Writers, writing makes your heart sing, then head on over to the group’s events page and write the date of the next meeting into your diary. It could be the best bit of writing that you’ve done yet.