Last Saturday night, members of my Raleigh writing group Triangle Writers came out to celebrate the group reaching over 350 members. We got together at Joel Lane’s Public House on Glenwood Avenue. Only six months ago we were downtown celebrating our 300th member to the writing group, and now after two very social and successful cocktail celebrations, it’s going to become a bi-annual event!
Triangle Writers currently has two active critique groups, with a third forming after the New Year. All groups meet twice per month and critique the work of three writers in each session. One group meets in Cary, the other Brier Creek, and the upcoming group will meet in North Raleigh at Triangle Town Center. With geography and schedules, all of the members rarely cross paths – so the social hour downtown was perfect for connecting names to faces. It also helps me hear what active members are interested in so that I can plan events and writing workshops better.
I’ve been active with the Raleigh writing community for four years. I remember the very first writing group that I went to at Cameron Village Library. I thought a handful of other writers would be there. There were 30. After the event was over, only a handful of writers left and the rest stayed behind to socialize. I am always surprised how extroverted self-proclaimed introverts are. The library staff had to encourage us out of the room and close the door behind us. Last call—at a library!
If you run a writing group, try to balance the detailed critiques, exhausting revisions, and deadlines with some celebrations. Celebrate everything: A member gets a short story published, finishes the first draft of a novel, receives their first check from a publisher–these are all things that Triangle Writers celebrated this past weekend. Every writer has something to celebrate – get together and toast to each other.