Tag Archives: writing groups

Writing Circle guidelines

We’ve added the guidelines that we use to run our writing circle meetings. Click here to see them.



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Writers as readers

It was my turn to post a blog this month, so I decided to ask everyone in the circle what they were reading. They had a lot to share!

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Being part of a team

To contrast Ann’s post last month, from the perspective of a veteran member of the writing circle, I want to talk about what drew me to join their group a few months ago.

Writing, especially creative writing, is fun and in a lot of ways, liberating, but it can also be lonely. To me what separates a daydream from a novel — aside from a ton of extra effort — is a desire to share your work with others. That’s what it boils down to for me, but when I work on my novel, I do so alone and that can sometimes have a negative impact on my motivation.

Being part of the writing circle gives me a chance to meet and get to know people who have similar interests to me and it also provides me with an audience to share my latest work with.

Beyond that, it gives me invaluable feedback from people who have experience when it comes to looking at works with a critical eye. Self-editing is important, but it can’t replace a fresh set of eyes and a different opinion. Having other people tell you what they liked and didn’t like about your story will typically result in a much richer work.

I’m very happy to be a part of the 11th Floor Writers. I spend my days writing about hockey and while that involves a lot of independent work, I’m also part of a larger team and I like that aspect of my job. In a way, I feel like the 11th Floor Writers provides me with a similar connection for my fictional writing and I’m grateful for it.

Ryan Dadoun

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On being a circle member

It’s been five years since I joined the 11th Floor Writers. Of all the benefits that I have reaped over the years, the following three are the most significant.

  • The circle has kept me a disciplined writer.

Because we have regular meetings, the circle has kept me motivated to write. We push each other as necessary to keep everyone working on something. The whole purpose of being in the group is to write and receive feedback. We work to move each other forward.

  • The circle has helped me better understand my writing strengths and needs.

Getting feedback is absolutely critical as a writer. Members point out discrepancies, and make recommendations to strengthen the submitted pieces of writing. My writing skills have also further developed by critically examining the works of other writers and trying to provide meaningful and constructive feedback.

  •  Because we meet face-to-face, friendships have formed over the years.

Friendships with other writers have become especially important to me as I evolve in this craft. Fellow writers who believe in each other and encourage each other to forge ahead is critical when we become unmotivated or uninspired to write.

Five years ago, I submitted a raw first chapter to the circle. It was a humbling experience. Over the course of several years, I have worked through an entire novel manuscript. In June 2012, this manuscript won The Marina Nemat Award, a writing award from the University of Toronto. I attribute much of my growth as a writer to the ongoing support and guidance I get by being a member of a strong and inspired writing circle.

 Ann Y.K. Choi

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This is the page for the 11th Floor Writers Group.

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