Compass Points: The Writers' Group Handbook

Compass Points: The Writers' Group Handbook

Getting the best for and from your writing group

How to make your writing group work for you.


Over the past 15 years Julie Phillips has been and still is a member of many different groups and committees including: writing groups, Parent/Teacher Associations, local community campaign committees, Scout committees, School Governor Committees, various further education groups and nursing groups. She has probably seen it all when it comes to how groups work and how they can come off the tracks.
With her experience and insider knowledge on how good groups function she has crammed all she knows about making groups work well into this book. She's done the leg work so you don't have to fall into the traps loitering within unsuspecting writing groups.


Being both a writer and long experience of a range of different groups, you’d expect Julie’s book to be packed full of practical tips, advice and guidance – and this is exactly what you find. The handbook looks at writers’ groups from the point of view of a writer who’s searching for a suitable group (they can vary widely!) and also deals with the process of setting up a group from scratch. There are sections on choosing a venue, publicising the new group, retaining members, attracting new ones and – very importantly – what to do when disagreements and conflicts occur. There is also advice on whether or not to run competitions and, should you choose to do so, how to organise them. Finally you’ll find twenty workshop ideas to keep your group inspired and entertained, plus a list of useful contacts and resources. The Writers’ Group Handbook is written in a chatty and readable way while its layout and thorough contents pages allow you to jump straight to the section you require. Highly recommended. The Writers’ Group Handbook by Julie Phillips, published by Compass Books: ISBN 978-1-78279-138-6. Reviewed by Steve Bowkett. ~ Steve Bowkett, The Link (NAWG publication)

You reap what you sow with writing groups, and Julie's book offers expert advice on how to sow effective seeds that will help a group flourish. She's scoured the world and interviewed writing groups in the UK, Europe, America and Australia to collate the best advice that every writing group - and member - should know. The Writing Group Handbook is essential reading for all writing groups, writing group members and anyone who is considering joining such a group. ~ Simon Whaley, Author of The Positively Productive Writer.

A nice collection of advice, well-organized, and attentive to all the major topics that count. ~ Pam Nowak, Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, USA

I really enjoyed reading The Writers’ Group Handbook book and wished that it had been available when I started my first writing group, The Swanley Scribblers, fifteen years ago. From the beginning, when the reader is asked to consider what they want from their group (and what sort of writer they wish to attend) through the psychology of potential members and onto workshop activities made me feel that I wanted to go out and look for another group straight away. I particularly enjoyed the section on common problems. Yes I could have done with that at one time too! Written in a straight forward friendly way it will be a boon to anyone thinking of starting a writing group and indeed those already running a group, as this book gives food for thought for organisers and tutors alike. The Writers’ Group Handbook is an excellent and instructive read. Well done to the author for writing such an informative guide. ~ Elaine Everest, Freelance Journalist

The Writers' Group Handbook by Julie Phillips is a useful resource tool to be recommended to writers wishing to get together and to take the plunge of forming themselves into a writing group. It contains all the information needed to move forward. ~ Pam Fish, Chair of The National Association of Writers' Groups

Julie Phillips
Julie Phillips For the past two years Julie has been Vice Chair of her local writing group, Wrekin Writers, based in Telford and is a member of the Associa...
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