There are a few writers’ groups in Folkestone, all offering different things, which is great but, because most groups are in the evening and I’m usually in my pyjamas by 5pm, I wanted one that met in daylight hours. You can never have too many writing groups though and, with that in mind, I created The Write Space.
I’d always wanted to join a writing group but my nearest one was SaveAsWriters in Canterbury. I gave them a swerve because a) it was on a Monday and Mondays were reserved for hangovers; b) although Canterbury itself was easy enough for me to get to, the University of Kent, where the group holds its meetings wasn’t; and c) they looked like ‘proper’ writers and I most definitely didn’t consider myself to be a ‘proper’ writer.
So, just like when I first moved to Kent and wanted to join a book group but there wasn’t one near me so I started my own, I started my own writing group in Ashford. I welcomed writers of all abilities and experience and, most importantly, there was none of that ‘introduce yourself’ nonsense which, as far as I’m concerned, is an uncomfortable and unnecessary waste of time. We were just a friendly bunch of writers sharing our work and receiving feedback and constructive criticism. Then my boyfriend kicked me out of his house (not really, it was perfectly mutual and amicable but that doesn’t sound as dramatic), I moved to Folkestone and decided to stop going to the Ashford writing group because of the time and cost of schlepping there and back on the train, plus incurring taxi fare to get me safely home because Folkestone’s street lighting is seriously shit and, if muggers didn’t get me, an unseen uneven paving stone probably would.
Ashford Writers are still going strong – thriving, even – without me and I recommend joining if you’re looking for a fun and friendly writing group in Ashford. You can join and get more info on them on their meetup.com page.
Writers’ Group in Folkestone – The Write Space
Anyway, that’s enough about other writing groups in Kent – I’ve resurrected this abandoned blog to tell you about my new writers’ group in Folkestone – The Write Space.
Although there are plenty of writing groups in Kent where you can share your work, whether just to read it out to others or to receive feedback, I wanted to spend more time with writers, doing writerly things like write, or at least stare at a blank page in the company of other writers staring at a blank page. But, once again, because I couldn’t find a local group that was doing the thing I wanted to do, I started up my own. My original plan was for a writers’ group in Folkestone where writers could bring along their notebook and pen or laptop and work on their own projects, in the company of other writers.
This worked well for the first week and I wrote 1,000 words which is most definitely 1,000 words more than I would have written had I been sitting at home by myself on a Monday morning (Mondays are no longer reserved for hangovers as I no longer drink alcohol. Who knew Mondays were an actual day? Woo.)
The second week wasn’t so productive and I think I just sat, chatted to everyone else and drank hot chocolate (I know, I make it sound like a bad thing?)
The third week, I interviewed another member of the group – Jo Bavington-Jones – to write up a profile piece to go alongside the review of her second novel, Lucy Shaw Wants More, I’ve planned to write. I won’t tell you anymore about Jo here as I’m going to save it for another post. (Update: You can now read the interview with Jo here.)
On the fourth week, Tessa (whose blog I will link to when she spends less time trying to decide what to call it and more time writing it) felt we weren’t very productive. I disagree. Three of us (okay, there were only three of us at the meeting) bought tickets to a few talks at the upcoming Faversham Literary Festival and then we went through our lists of things we want to achieve writing-wise during 2020 (I’ll share my list with you another time). That all sounds very productive to me.
And that’s what we’ve done so far and what a great group it’s turning out to be. It’s evolved from just working on our own projects, to whatever we want it to be, writing-wise. Everyone’s welcome at The Write Space and we meet every other Monday morning between 10am and 12pm at The Samuel Peto in Folkestone if you’d like to join us.
Take a look at our Facebook page for more information.