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Activities for Adult Writing Groups

Being part of a writing group is a great way to share your writing, get feedback on your work, and hang out with other authors. But sometimes, the typical meeting routine can get a little stale. Surely, in such a creative setting, there can be more exciting ways to critique each other’s writing than trading with a partner or reading aloud to the group.


Never fear. If you want to spice things up in your group, you’re in the right place. As an ex-college writing instructor who coached students in how to comment on each other’s work, I’m loaded with fun activities, exercises, and even games.


Yes, games! Just because you’re in an adult writing group doesn’t mean you can’t have a blast and enjoy the process.


Whether your group has special summer events on the horizon or you want to get some writing friends together for a night of critique and literary enjoyment, these five activities will make your time together more enjoyable and enhance your creative writing skills.


 The Writing Prompt Relay


The Writing Prompt Relay can infuse your writing group sessions with energy and collaborative spirit. This activity begins by handing out unique writing prompts to each group member. These prompts could be anything from a single word to a phrase to an intriguing image.


With a set timer ticking away, the challenge is to craft a poem, story, or short essay inspired by the prompt. Then, once time runs out, the twist comes into play: pass your work to the person next to you, and they'll continue writing from where you left off!


This cycle of exchange fosters a dynamic environment and opens the door to discovering how different writers tackle the same piece, offering a glimpse into various writing techniques and approaches. This also lets your writing group push creative boundaries and see how stories can morph and evolve in the hands of different writers, exploring a variety of narrative directions and styles they might not have explored on their own.


Play Feedback Bingo


All writing groups give constructive criticism and foster positive environments…but what if you could do all that AND play a game? Feedback Bingo is an innovative and structured way to ensure everyone receives constructive and comprehensive feedback on their work.


In this activity, each member of the adult writing group prepares a piece of their writing to share. Before the meeting, create bingo cards that list common elements of writing that can be reviewed, such as character development, dialogue, setting, pace, and use of language. As each writer reads their piece aloud, the other members listen attentively and mark off any elements they observe on their bingo cards. The goal isn't to win in the traditional sense but to cover as many elements as possible, ensuring a wide range of feedback for the writer.


This method makes the feedback process interactive and ensures that comments are varied and cover different aspects of writing. It encourages listeners to pay close attention and engage deeply with the text while writers gain insights into multiple facets of their work. Feedback Bingo turns the critique session into a dynamic and engaging experience, fostering a supportive atmosphere where writers feel valued and motivated to refine their craft.


Character Building Challenge


Diving into the depths of your imagination, the Character Building Challenge offers writers a unique opportunity to stretch their creative muscles and explore the intricacies of character creation. In this game, writers present their main characters to the group, outlining their personality traits, backgrounds, motivations, and quirks.


To elevate the challenge, writers then swap characters with another group member. They now must each write a short scene incorporating their partner’s character. This gives writers insight into how others perceive and develop their creations and pushes them to write about characters they didn't conceive.


This exercise spotlights the importance of well-rounded, believable characters in storytelling and provides a platform for writers to explore diverse character dynamics and interactions.


The Great Genre-Bending Experiment


We all have our own favorite genres or writing topics, but often, they can become a little too familiar, causing us to get stuck in a creative rut. This engaging activity encourages each member of your adult writing group to step into unfamiliar terrain with new genres they don’t usually write in.


For this activity, writers will choose slips of paper from a hat with different genres written on them (romance, sci-fi, literary, poetry, autobiography, historical, etc.). They then must transport their main characters, poems, or personal essays into the conventions of that genre by writing a short piece and sharing it with the group.


It’s true that this game’s results might be laughable and may not exactly provide material that could be used in the future. Still, venturing into new genres can catalyze creativity, pushing you to employ unique storytelling methods and narrative structures you may not encounter in your usual writing.


The beauty of this exercise lies in its ability to surprise you with how adaptable your writing can be, how diverse themes can invigorate your narrative techniques, and the entertainment and laughs it can provide.


Whose First Line Is It Anyway?


This imaginative game is designed to spark originality and challenge each member's creative thinking. Every participant receives a unique opening line, perhaps drawn from various sources such as novels or articles or even generated spontaneously by the group.


The objective is clear: craft a story, poem, or other written piece starting with that given line. This sets common ground for all participants and pushes them to diverge into their unique narrative directions right from the outset.


This exercise effectively showcases how a single line can inspire many interpretations and narratives. It's fascinating to see how different writers can spin the same sentence into entirely different stories, each reflecting their individual style, interests, and imaginative flair. It is a brilliant tool for breaking through writer's block or the fear of the blank page and forces writers to leap directly into the action, often leading them to explore ideas and themes they wouldn't have considered otherwise.


After each participant has had time to develop their piece, sharing these creations with the group can be incredibly rewarding. This activity nurtures creativity and builds a supportive environment where writers feel encouraged to take risks and experiment with their writing, knowing they are in a space that values growth and exploration.


Want Even More Fun Activities for Your Adult Writing Group?

Grab a copy of my free Ultimate Writing Project Workbook!

This workbook contains writing prompts, templates, creative tips, and brainstorming tools for developing a work in progress. While it’s designed primarily for writers who already have a project underway, it can be easily adapted into a way to have fun with groups of authors.


Click the button below, tell me where to send it, and watch your inbox!

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