1: Contact friends, acquaintances, neighbors, coworkers, associates, colleagues and others who are interested in writing and let them know that you plan to start a writers’ group. Ask them what sort of group they would most like to join and what they would hope to get out of meetings. Not only will this process guide you in designing your club or organization, it will help you to establish a support team.
2: Find a free place to meet. This might be in a bookstore, at a local college, in a library or in someone’s home. Meetings might also be held in an office building, at the local recreation center, in the community center at a mobile home park and so forth. Think about places where you have attended meetings in the past. If you must pay for space, consider charging a small fee for each meeting at the door.
3: Plan your first meeting. This might be a brainstorming meeting where all interested parties discuss the type of group to establish. Or invite a popular guest speaker—a local author who just got some media publicity, an agent, a publisher, an editor from a local magazine, a printer or someone who can talk about book promotion, for example. It helps to know the needs of potential members when planning your meetings.
4: Set a date and time for your meeting. If you have had a lot of input from other writers, try to choose a time that is convenient for the majority.
5: Make simple flyers announcing the first meeting and post them in bookstores, libraries, local colleges, senior centers and on community bulletin boards. Include a phone number and email address where people can request more information.
6: Send flyers to everyone you know who might be interested in meeting with other writers and/or who might be a good candidate to speak at a meeting.
7: Send announcements to local newspapers at least 10 days prior to the meeting. Check with each newspaper to learn their submission requirements. Community announcements are usually free.
8: Visit other writers’ groups and senior centers, etc. and announce your meeting. Be sure to take material with you to hand out.