Q. Can anyone join the Leeds Writers Circle?
A. Yes, everyone is welcome! Whatever you write, and whatever stage you’re at in your writing, the Circle is here to provide support, constructive feedback, and like-minded readers and writers.
Q. When and where do you meet?
A. Our regular manuscript meetings are held every other Monday at the Carriageworks in Leeds City Centre, from 7.30 – 9.30 pm. (See our Programme for specific dates.) We also hold Saturday workshops and monthly groups who meet on Saturdays.
Q. Has the circle been around for a long time?
A. Yes! Our logo claims that we were founded in 1928, although there is some documentary evidence for 1926. We believe we are the oldest writers’ group in the country.
Q. How many members do you have?
A. About sixty. A typical Monday attendance would be around twenty.
Q. What does membership cost?
A. Membership is £15.00 per year, and £2.00 to attend a manuscript meeting or workshop. You’re welcome to come along to a couple of manuscript meetings before deciding whether or not to join.
Q. What do manuscript meetings involve?
A. All members can attend, and sign up at the beginning of the evening to read out a piece of work. The Circle then provides constructive help and feedback. There is usually time for around 6 readers. If your name is in the book, but you don’t have time to read, you’ll be able to read the following week.
Q. What kind of pieces can I read, and is there a word limit?
A. Bring along a poem or a piece of prose up to 1500 words in length (extracts from short stories, novels, plays, essays, memoir, etc all welcome!).
Q. What if I don’t agree with the feedback?
A. Everyone in the Circle is aiming to improve their own writing and that of the other members. The feedback given aims to be helpful and fair, and not harsh or personal. Our advice is to listen and nod, and then take what’s most useful!
Q. I’m a new writer, and nervous about attending a writing group and reading my work…
A. New writers are very welcome, and there’s no pressure at all to read out! Just coming along to listen to other writers read their work and receive feedback is really useful.
Q. What else does the Writers Circle do?
A. We run three competitions a year, which are free to enter for members, and judged by professional writers. Every year there is a short story competition, a poetry competition, and one additional competition which changes annually. We also run weekend workshops, some of which are run by our members, and some by professional writers. (See our Programme for more details about forthcoming workshops.)
Q. Are there smaller groups within the Circle, for specific kinds of writing?
A. We have three extra groups, who meet on Saturdays, once a month – a novel writing group, a short story group, and a women’s magazine group. All members are welcome to attend – contact our secretary Gill Osborne (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more details.
Q. I write horror/ romance/ crime/ SF/ children’s stories… Do you welcome that kind of thing?
A. Whatever you write, we want to hear it!
Q. I still have questions. Is there any way I can contact someone at the Leeds Writers Circle?
A. Why, of course. Please email email@example.com if you’d like more information.