New writing group site! And other writing news…

This week, my writing group, Just Write Chicago, launched our website.  In the past six years, we’ve grown from a small  group to a city-wide group of over two thousand members.  This March, Michael Mills and I will celebrate three years of running the south side chapter.

My favorite part about having a regular writing group is the support and consistency it brings to my life.  There have been many nights when I’ve arrived at a meet up feeling frustrated and stuck and the act of sitting down and writing, then talking with other writers made me leave feeling uplifted.  If you are interested in  starting your own writing group, check out my post on the subject.

In other writing news…

This past January, I took Mary Robinette Kowal’s Short Story Intensive workshop.  It  was one of the most useful writing courses I’ve taken to date.  I particularly enjoyed her approach to critique, which she details in this video.  Since taking her class, I’ve been using her exercises around the MICE quotient to outline a plot for my short stories.  For me, fiction ideas start as images or concepts, rather than as plot points.  I struggle with transferring the image into a plot structure, and using the idea of MICE and is helping me think through plot and structure.


My friend Joy and I finally started the Quaker fashion blog we’ve been talking about for three years. As far as I know, it is the only Quaker fashion blog on the web–or in existence, ever.  Come for the William Penn jokes, stay for the queries about red lipstick, grandpa ties, and showing up for racial justice.