Before A Writing Hand
A Writing Hand got its start on Meetup as a writing group located in Northeastern Pennsylvania. The group was formed with hopes of bringing together local writers and readers to create a network of support and guidance. They meet biweekly, using prompts as a central tool in how the group functions. Each meeting has a featured writing prompt that serves as motivation for stories and poems. The final results are shared on the Meetup page beforehand and the meetings focus on offering critiques and suggestions for each writer who submitted work.
Life can get rather hectic and while the Meetup group has gathered over 300 members, it’s not always easy to carve out a block of time for an in person meeting. We wanted to come up with a way for our members to participate online and to extend our reach beyond Meetup. Thus, the idea for A Writing Hand was born.
Our Four Principles of Writing
With thoughts of growing our modest group through our own website, we came up with four guiding principles that would drive A Writing Hand:
- Write and Write Often – The best way to improve as a writer is to simply write! A lot! Put in your million words, your ten thousand hours, just write and do it consistently. If you find yourself in a rut, visit our prompts page for motivation. Need something specific? Ask the community!
- Get Feedback – Whether you adore your story through and through or have a love hate relationship with it, you can only take it so far by yourself. A fresh perspective can help clean up your work, spot weak points in the plot or structure, or even help take your story in an exciting new direction.
- Help Others – Be one of those outside voices that makes a positive difference in someone else’s development. Not only will it feel great to help your fellow writers, but your own set of skills will grow wildly as well as you develop a critical eye and the ability to analyze written works. Even if you don’t have a lot of experience here, don’t be shy. It’s an important skill to develop.
- Get Published – We all want the world to read our stories and poems even if we claim to only write for fun. Getting your work published isn’t easy, you have to put yourself out there and develop a thick skin. Let our community help you prepare your work for submission and be your support once you finally take the plunge.
The Give and Take of Writing
Participation is key. A Writing Hand is free to join and can be a great tool in helping you develop as a writer, as well as prepare you for the challenging world of publishing. Take advantage of what we have to offer and help others who are in the same spot as you. This site utilizes a point system to track user participation, certain functions of the site are only available to those who actively take part in group activities over an extended period of time.
Other Important Bits
A Writing Hand is meant to serve as a way to get feedback on your story and help develop your critical thinking skills when it comes to analyzing a written piece. It is not intended to be a place to self publish finished works, although you can use the site as a writing portfolio if you like. If you choose to self publish and leave finished work on here, keep in mind that you maintain all rights to the work, we won’t do anything with your writing besides leave it posted here. Most publishers don’t want to see submitted stories appearing elsewhere as well, so keep that in mind if you decide to leave your work posted. Self publishing should be turned to after you’ve exhausted other publishing efforts, though there’s nothing wrong with being charitable if that’s what you want to do!
If you want to post a story with content that might not be suitable for younger audiences, please note at the beginning of your piece or in the description that reader discretion is advised. If stories don’t include this, we reserve the right to remove work until a version is posted with an acceptable warning.
Our group has come a long way since we started on Meetup in early 2015, feedback from the members will always play an important role in how A Writing Hand develops. Find something you don’t like about our site? Have suggestions on how we can improve what we do and how we do it? Just let us know!