Writing Excuses Season 2 Episode 5: Writing Groups

So you’ve got a fantastic idea for a book or a short story, but where do you go from there? Who can give the incentive to write, the support to keep going when it gets hard, and the tough love to let you know when it sucks? The answer: a writing group.

Writing groups can be difficult to put together and manage, but when everything clicks the rewards can be invaluable. This week we discuss all the ins and outs of how to find fellow writers, organize your group, interpret their advice, and overcome the common pitfalls that might get in the way.

This week’s Writing Excuses is brought to you by Fablehaven by Brandon Mull


57 thoughts on “Writing Excuses Season 2 Episode 5: Writing Groups”

  1. There’s always the ‘poor man’s’ copywrite. Print a copy for yourself, stick it into an evelope and mail it to yourself. Do not open it. The date from the post office will establish a time by which you had created the work. Then you can share your work.

    This is not fool proof, but at least it keeps out the lazy or stupid fools.

  2. The thing about poor man’s copyright is that apparently it doesn’t stand up in court. I don’t know if this is true, but I heard somewhere that the poor man’s copyright isn’t accepted at all in court situations because it’s apparently possible to send an envelope without even sealing it and slip the the lyrics/tape/CD inside afterwards. I have no idea if this is actually true but there seem to be a number of people out there who share this opinion.

    When it comes to establishing copyright proof for songs – well, here in Canada there’s the Songwriter’s Association of Canada. Once you’re a member, you can send them a recording of your songs and a cheque and they’ll send you proof of copyright registration for whatever. It’s a LOT cheaper, and probably much easier, than sending your stuff to the actual copyright (which doesn’t take recordings anyway, only copies of your lyrics). I have no idea if you have a similar organization wherever you’re located, but I’d suggest you take a look. You never know what you might find :)

    The other thing is, to the best of my knowledge, the LYRICS of songs aren’t copyright-able, only the melodies. I mean, if someone lifts your lyrics wholesale there’s obviously room for you to retaliate, but they can’t let people sue every time someone else accuses them of stealing the line “I love you” or “you’re beautiful” (or whatever for their song).

    I don’t think any editor would actually be displeased, particularly, if you submitted a book that you had already registered the copyright for, but you’re probably wasting your time and money if you do. As far as I know, if a company buys your book, they’ll register the copyright for you – and even if you’ve already registered it yourself they’ll probably end up doing it again, because presumably it will look different after their editors have gotten ahold of it. And as long as you do your research and are submitting to legitimate publishing companies, you don’t have to worry about them stealing your work. Why? If they like your work, they’ll make you an offer. If they don’t like your work well enough to buy it, they won’t like it well enough to steal it either.

  3. That was a great cast, very motivational – and great tips and ideas. Checked out the NaNo site and found there are 1500+ members in Glasgow! (Scotland). Looking forward to November now, and hopefully catching up with WE casts before then.

  4. How is reading excuses coming along? I find I don’t personally know any other writers, so coordinating a writing group would be a little difficult.

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