What we do

First things first: we meet every Tuesday, 7:30 to 9:30, at the Didsbury Methodist Church, Sandhurst Rd, Didsbury. We're open to anyone who wants to turn up. Your first session's free, to see how we do things, and then we charge enough each time to cover the hire of the room and a coffee half-way through.

Different people need different kinds of writers' groups. If you want a course in creative writing, try your local adult education classes. For some people, writing is "just" a hobby, and there are groups which support that kind of activity. Try your local library or look on the web.

What's special about The Writers' Workshop then? Maybe nothing, maybe it's just the people who happen to be coming to meetings at the moment, but the focus is very much on getting published.

That doesn't mean we don't welcome beginners and hobbyists of course. We'll incorporate a discussion of characterisation or dialogue development if that's what someone needs. But the next week we might be discussing literary agents and how to make them notice you.

We're basically a "work-in-progress" group. The backbone of a Tuesday evening meeting is half a dozen people reading out what they've been working on, so that the rest of us can comment, criticise and rip it to shreds. All in a positive vein, of course, and most of us are good friends, most of the time.

It's usually a selection of novels-in-progress with a leavening of short stories and poetry. In the past we've had journalism, reminiscences from the age of jazz... And it's quite common at the moment that someone will dole out copies of a play - you play him, you play her... We'll try anything.