With this in mind I’ve discovered a few writers groups that aren’t too far way. I’m just not sure about approaching them. Is there an entrance requirement? Do I have to saunter up cap-in-hand and say “Hello, my name’s Garry and I’m a writer?” Would my cap-full of short-story publications and extensive collection of rejection letters be enough to prove this?
Seriously though, writers groups and writing courses have always held a bit of a fascination and more than a touch of mystery to me. Although I have had 'professional' writing experience as part of my work, you could say I’m pretty much self-taught as far as fiction writing is concerned, having never had any formal fiction writing education or tuition. I wouldn’t want to find myself in the middle of a classically educated ‘literary’ crowd, where I’d probably feel like I was trying to write ‘Janet and John’ books to their ‘War and Peace.’
I’d be interested in people’s experiences or perceptions of writing groups and of formal writing courses, whether they are distance-learning or college based.
Do all on-line or mail-based courses fall into the ‘We can make you into a PUBLISHED writer in 60 days!!!!!’ category or are there genuine legitimate ones that are worthwhile?
What’s your experience with college/university based courses, whether they lead to a qualification or not, are they more or less worthwhile?
And not to forget those writers groups and workshops, are they helpful, and who is likely to attend?