Ask ChiYA is an occasional series on ChiYAwriters.com in which we answer readers’ questions about the world of YA writing and publishing.
Hi! I’m interested in writing a YA novel, but I’m a senior in college—there’s no writing group on campus, and I’m not friends with anybody who wants to write. Is there a writing group related to Chicago YA writers I could join? Thanks!
Thanks so much for reaching out. ChiYA doesn’t have a writing group, but here are a few suggestions from our bloggers:
- The NaNoWriMo forums are a great community, and I found them super helpful and supportive when I was starting out. There’s also a local chapter called ChiWriMo. It’s not specifically YA focused, but writers for all ages/genres participate in their chats, meetups, etc. They have a Facebook group, as well.
- The 88 Cups of Tea Facebook group is very supportive, and I know some folks have found critique partners through that.
- The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) offers lots of resources for new writers, including local critique groups and mentorship programs. There is a fee to join the organization, but there’s a student rate if you’re interested. Also, the “Blueboard” discussion forums are open to everyone, even if you’re not a member.
- You might try starting a writing group on campus by reaching out to creative writing professors or posting a flier in the English department. There’s a good chance some other students at your college would also love to join a writing group.
Finally, a word of caution: as always, be careful when using forums or other online resources. If anyone makes you feel uncomfortable or requests to meet up in person (outside of a group-sanctioned event in a public place), contact the forum moderator immediately.
Best of luck!
The ChiYA Writers
P.S. If you know of any other good resources for new writers, please leave them in the comments below!
P.P.S. If you have any questions for ChiYA, please reach out via our contact form. We’d love to hear from you!
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