How to find a writing buddy?

November is a significant month in a writer’s calendar because it is the month of AcWriMo (academic writing month) and NaNoWriMo (national novel writing month). Both occasions aim to celebrate writers and motivate them to complete their writing projects. AcWriMo and NaNoWriMo encourage sharing writing challenges and accountability in keeping with the writing goals. One way to keep oneself on track with writing goals is joining a writing group or finding a writing buddy. 

Finding a writing buddy can help you share your ups and downs with other writers and keep each other motivated. Likely, your writing buddy will experience similar struggles and successes. So, read this post to learn how to find a writing buddy this November or whenever you need peer support with your writing project.

What is a writing buddy?

A writing buddy, critique partner or accountability partner can help you achieve your writing goals by sharing your writing struggles, lack of motivation or bouts of procrastination. However, finding a writing buddy means sharing the negative and positive aspects of writing, such as celebrating accomplishing the goals and milestones. It goes both ways, so when your buddy struggles, you also need to show up for them and support them through the thick and thin of writing. 

How to find a writing buddy offline?

There are several ways to find a writing buddy across different online platforms and in real, offline life. So, let’s start with ways to find a writing buddy in your offline local community.

Check local community centres and libraries

The Inklings Writers’ Group November 2023 events calendar illustrates that one way to find a writing buddy is to join a writers' group.
The Inklings Writers’ Group associated with Central Rappahannock Regional Library (Fredericksburg, VA).

Libraries and community centres often have books-related groups, which may include writing groups. They may meet regularly to read and critique each other’s work and share writing resources they have found. If your local community does not have a writing group, it may be worth starting your own group. For instance, you could approach the library or community centre staff to check if they would support the group in their facilities.

Start a writing group

One way to find a writing buddy is to start your own group. But before you invite local writers to join you, consider the rules that will guide the group’s premise and establish the answers to the following questions:

  • What is the aim or objective of the group (sharing inspiration, critiquing each other’s work, ensuring accountability or meeting milestones)?
  • What is the scope of the group’s meetings (only writing or also publishing, editing and marketing books?)
  • Who can join the group (e.g. in terms of writing experience and progression of their writing project)?
  • How will the critique or feedback be delivered? (in-person, written reports, marked-up text)?

Next, figure out the practicalities of the meetings:

  • Time and place
  • Frequency (weekly, bi-monthly or monthly)
  • Duration (one hour or longer)
  • Format (a single text or multiple discussed each time).

Finally, and most importantly, invite local writers to join your writing group. You could publish an ad in your local newspaper or put flyers in the local shops’ windows. However, creating a group on meetup.com would be an even more straightforward and less time-consuming way of finding a writing buddy.

DC Speculative Fiction Writer's Group meetup page.
DC Speculative Fiction Writer’s Group meetup page.

Check national and regional associations for writers

In many countries, there are national and regional organisations that support writers by offering information, advice and funding. For instance, here is a list published by Penguin of national and local-level organisations supporting writers across the UK. You can contact them to get information on the existing writing networks in your area. These organisations can also offer help when you decide to set up your own writing group by, for instance, including information about your initiative in the communications to their members. Moreover, there may be funding available to support your writing group.

Ask a friend to check on your progress

A writing buddy does not have to be a writer. It usually works best between two (or more) writers because it facilitates mutual help and support. However, it may not always be necessary. If you want to find a writing buddy to monitor your progress and make sure you meet your milestones, anyone can be your writing buddy. A friend, a family member or a neighbour who agrees to help you be accountable and monitor your writing progress can be your writing buddy.

How to find a writing buddy online?

Nowadays, writers increasingly more often choose to network with other writers online. There is an array of platforms and sites designed to cater to the needs of writers, such as accountability, manuscript critique, peer support or advice from like-minded individuals. 

Join a Facebook group

Facebook has tonnes of groups for writers where you can find a writing buddy.

Writers Unite! (WU!) Facebook group has over 73,000 members. The group offers you an opportunity to find a perfect writing buddy. Its mission is to support and encourage writers at all levels of knowledge and experience. Furthermore, WU! enables writers to share their writing, receive and provide constructive feedback and answer questions related to their writing.

Insecure Writer’s Support Group has over 5,000 members. Its mission is to share and encourage. There, writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. In sum, it is a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds. 

10 Minute Novelists Group is devoted to helping time-crunched writers. The group helps developing the habit of writing, learning the craft and building writer’s careers in small increments of time. It boasts nearly 17,000 members and encourages members to ask questions, engage with others and volunteer help and advice.

Join a writing community

Among countless online writing communities, you can join one of those specialised groups that focus on the genre of your text. Alternatively, consider joining a larger group with a broader scope to increase your chance of finding a writing buddy.

General online writing groups

Critique Circle is free to join and claims to be one of the oldest online groups for writers. Founded in 2003, it claims to be closing in on one million served critiques.

Camp NaNoWriMo is a month-long collective writing challenge occurring every April and July. In contrast to the November NaNoWriMo (national novel writing month), the Camp offers the flexibility of setting your word count challenge. (In comparison, the annual November NaNoWriMo challenges you to write a 50,000-word novel.)

Scribophile boasts of being one of the largest and most award-winning online writing communities. It offers free and premium (paid) membership options. Moeover, all members must follow its code of conduct.

WriteWithMe! subredit.
WriteWithMe subreddit.

Accountabuddy Exchange allows you to find someone to hold you accountable, cheer you on and help you back up when you fall down. The Exchange has a simple form to fill out when looking for a writing buddy.

WriteWithMe is a Reddit community offering help to find a writing partner. It has over 7,000 members. Furthermore, its only purpose is to facilitate finding a writing buddy or a beta reader. However, it does not allow posting any other type of content.

Genre-specific online writing groups

Camp Memoir badge has a black background and white text, which reads: 'I'm writing a memoir!'.
Camp Memoir badge. Source: nanowrimo.org/camp-memoir

Camp Memoir is a writing group dedicated to memoir authors. There, you can share your writing goals and access their extensive resource library.

Speculative Fiction Writers Association meets weekly on Zoom to discuss writing topics and critique each other’s work. They invite science fiction writers working on fiction, fantasy, horror, time travel, climate fiction/solar-punk, slipstream, steampunk, weird west, fairy tales, alternate history, dystopian/utopian or cyberpunk for MG, YA and adults.

Lovers and Friends: Writing Group for Romance Writers enables accountability and community building. Lovers and Friends meet weekly on Zoom, welcoming all romance subgenres. They write, connect, ask questions and share snippets of each other’s work.

Chronicles is a science fiction and fantasy community. Their writing forums provide help and feedback on writing, including general writing queries, discussions about agents, editors and publishers, as well as writing resources and a section for critiques.

Therapeutic Writing Group helps members foster insight and self-awareness as well as generate support from others through the process of writing. This group may be beneficial for writers working on self-help or self-development manuscripts. 

Writing Historical Fiction group is for individuals seeking active support from others who love historical fiction. This includes those who love writing historical fiction, love reading historical fiction and are agents representing historical fiction writers or publishers of historical fiction.

Post regular updates on your website, blog or social media

If you want a writing buddy to measure your accountability, consider using social media, your blog or website instead. Post regularly on X (Twitter), Discord or Mastodon and inform your followers about the progress of your writing project. Use hashtags such as #IAmWriting or #WritingCommunity to attract the relevant audience.

How to post an ad when looking for a writing buddy?

When posting online in search of a writing buddy, make sure to include the following details:

  • The genre of your text
  • A summary of your text, for instance, an abstract for non-fiction and the plot line summary or a blurb for fiction,
  • Your level of experience (how many years you have been writing)
  • The level of progression of your writing project (e.g. just started, stuck on chapter 3, finished manuscript)
  • What you are looking for in a writing buddy (e.g. sharing inspiration, critiquing each other’s work, ensuring accountability or meeting milestones)
  • Your contact details (your website, email address or social media handles).

What feedback on your writing a writing buddy cannot offer?

Although having a writing buddy can be an excellent way to receive feedback on your writing, there are some limitations to be aware of. A writing buddy may not be able to offer the same level of critique or feedback as a professional editor can. The training of a professional editor goes beyond a casual familiarity with writing conventions. Editors often undergo specialised training in editing techniques, style guides and the nuances of various writing genres. This formal training enables them to approach your work with a critical eye and a deep understanding of the conventions specific to your writing context.

For example, a writing buddy may not have the experience or knowledge to provide line editing or developmental editing services. Line editing involves reviewing and improving the flow, clarity and tone of your writing. This type of editing ensures that your writing is polished, easy to read and engages the reader.

On the other hand, developmental editing involves looking at the big picture of your writing, such as the structure, pacing and character development or argument. A developmental editor can help you identify areas that need improvement and suggest ways to make your writing more engaging and impactful. In turn, a writing buddy may be able to provide some feedback on these elements, but they may not have the expertise to provide a comprehensive edit. 

Final thoughts

Finding the right writing buddy may be crucial to pushing your manuscript to the finishing line, whether you need support with accountability, manuscript critique or the loneliness of the writing process.

When you are ready to publish your manuscript, contact me for a free sample edit if you want to prepare your manuscript for publishing (and remember to use my early bird discount). You can also follow me on MastodonTwitterFacebook and LinkedIn or join my newsletter.

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Magda

I am an editor, indexer and a lifelong lover of literature with a PhD in literary history. I am an Intermediate Member of the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading, a student member of the Society of Indexers and a vetted partner of the Alliance of Independent Authors.