Creative Writing Groups in Hoboken + Jersey City

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You know what they say about how to move on from something: turn that thing into literature. If this mantra originally said by Henry Miller about how to get over an ex — is one you live by, then maybe, just maybe, you’re a writer.

If you’re a creative writer, then you know it can be a solitary life at times. Art-making isn’t usually a public affair. Most times, we make our art, our writing, in private. In fact, most often it’s made in the middle of the night, alone in a dark room while typing away furiously {or maybe that’s just us}. We all have different creative writing processes, but it can be super beneficial to find a creative writing community. Luckily, Hoboken and Jersey City are filled with a variety of creative writing groups to help you get those creative juices flowing. Keep reading to discover creative writing groups in Hoboken and Jersey City. 

creative writing groups hoboken jersey city

Why Join a Creative Writing Group?

Writing — or creating any kind of art, really — can be a solitary process. We often create on our own time, when inspiration strikes or when we’re alone. Often it can come in the dead of night or at inconvenient or innocuous times, like in the shower. Though that creating process is certainly valid, sometimes a creative writing group and workshop can help writers get out of their office and into a social setting full of like-minded, creative individuals who share similar values.

Creative writing groups often include prompts: a writing idea meant to spark inspiration. Groups often dabble in a bit of prompt writing at the beginning of the meeting and the goal is to get writers writing. {Sometimes we just need a permission slip; after all, daily life can “get in the way.”}

Another exercise writing groups often start off with is free writing. This is prompt-less writing that allows the writer to hone in on whatever topic they’d like to. Some writers prefer free writing since they have more creative discretion, while others may prefer a prompt to set them in a specific direction.

Creative writing groups also often have a heavy focus on workshop. Workshopping means submitting or sharing your creative work with others. Groups may require that you submit longer works in advance, though some groups work on a page at a time, allowing you to bring in one page worth of creative writing to workshop then and there.

A big part of workshop is sharing, but another important {and often helpful!} component of workshop is receiving and giving feedback. After sharing your work, the other writers in the group provide feedback for your piece, offering constructive criticism, addressing what’s working and maybe not working, and sharing their overall reactions, emotions, and thoughts.

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Creative Writing Groups in Hudson County

creative writing groups

If you’re a creative writer living in Hudson County, you don’t have to go through the creative process alone. Whether you’re looking for a space or time slot in which you can create freely or are looking for a social environment where you can get feedback, workshopping with groups can be a meaningful resource and lucky for you, there are plenty of groups locally that you can join.

Hoboken Public Library Writers’ Workspace

The Hoboken Public Library hosts a Writers’ Workspace with the goal of providing a friendly and constructive space where writers can discuss their work. Not much more information is provided online, but if you’re interested in joining a free writing group in the Mile Square, the library’s workshop asks that you submit work in advance to the group. For more information or to submit your work, email hplwriters@gmail.com. The Writers’ Workspace does not meet every Monday, so please email or check the library’s calendar.

Jersey City Writers

Jersey City Writers is a nonprofit organization based in Hudson County that is dedicated to building a community of and for writers to develop and explore their creative passions. According to its mission statement:

“JCW seeks to create a nurturing and inclusive creative environment. We believe writers benefit most from uplifting support and constructive criticism. We believe in equality of writing and writers and open our doors to every experience level, every style, and every genre.”

All genres are fair game at Jersey City Writers. They welcome writers of novels, plays, poems, memoirs, short stories, and more. One of the goals of JCW is to bring like-minded people together, people who understand the “complicated yet satisfying process of creating something from nothing.”

JCW has been around for a decade, having been founded by a small group of writers back in 2009. Rachel Poy and Jim DeAngelis helmed the group and began focusing on partnering with other groups and venues in order to expand the group. In 2013, the group added quarterly Genre events, making public readings of members’ work a regular part of the group experience. Then in 2014, JCW introduced the Full Story Group — a creative writing workshop group that focuses specifically on longer works, full-length manuscripts, and books. Contact JCW here. 

One unique element about JCW is it’s classified as a nonprofit. JCW made the change from meetup group to nonprofit in order to increase its involvement in the community and host more educational events; of course, it also provides the group with a budget, as JCW received its first-ever grant from Andco Coworking Space and a Writing Residency through Hudson County Community College Department of Cultural Affairs.

Does this sound like your wheelhouse? Do you live in Jersey City or nearby? Then maybe you should consider joining!

For Prompts and Workshop, the group meets every Tuesday and Thursday from 6:30PM-8:45PM at Andco. These meetings are open genre and alternate every other week between prompts and then workshops. On prompt nights, organizers will give you a short writing exercise from which to draw some inspiration. You’ll spend most of your time actively writing new material on these nights. Workshop nights focus on reading and providing feedback on the members’ works. Each workshop night will focus on three to five pre-submitted pieces of writing.

Jersey City Writers also has a specific group for poets: Jersey City Plums. This group also meets at Andco on Saturdays from 11:00AM-1:00PM. These meetings vary between poetry prompts and workshops.

Every other Monday, Jersey City Writers offers Open Genre Writing, a sort of write-a-thon from 6:30PM-8:30 PM at Andco. It’s a safe and quiet space where you can open write and focus. JCW also offers a Nonfiction Workshop specific to writers interested in workshopping their memoirs, autobiographies, and non-fiction personal essays. This group meets on alternating Mondays {opposite the Open Genre Writing meetings} from 6:30PM-8:30PM at Andco.

Got a “finished,” full-length manuscript? Whether it’s a novel, memoir, short story collection, or poetry collection/chapbook, the Full Story group meets between one and three times each month to focus on both small and large details alike. This group meetings Saturdays from 1:00PM-3:00PM; however, meeting times may fluctuate with interest and availability, so it’s recommended to check Meetup.com for details and to join the mailing list.

Read More: 6 Local {Hoboken + Jersey City} Authors + Books to Read in 2019

Hoboken Free Style Writers, Poets Group

creative writing groups hudson county

The Hoboken Free Style Writers, Poets Group is a group started on Meetup.com in the Mile Square. Very little is known about the group, but according to their Meetup profile, the workshop aims to meet weekly in local cafes to free write and share work. In a non-judgmental, friendly atmosphere, writers flex their writing skills with two short warm-ups, then at the end, ask for feedback if it’s wanted.

Writing For Your Soul

Another writing group organized on Meetup, Writing For Your Soul, is based in Jersey City. The group aims to meet monthly and provide workshop experiences meant to cultivate self-expression, provide comfort from everyday stresses, and share their writing.

“No matter what your writing style may be, Writing For Your Soul is a place that is welcoming to all,” the Meetup bio explains. According to their page, it looks like WFYS meets on different days of the week for Fuel Your Soul Writing Hours, Therapeutic Writing Workshops, and more.

Join their Meetup page for more information and to find about their next event.

The Guild of Collaborative Intent

Not quite a creative workshop, the Jersey City-based The Guild of Collaborative Intent is a group for creatives: writers, artists, illustrators, musicians, artisanal yarn knitters. You name it.

TGOCI meets for drinks and provides a space where creatives can bond, chat about their artistic projects, and ultimately, network. It’s a great option for people looking to connect with other creatives, especially if you’re looking for someone to help with a project. Maybe you’re a writer lacking an illustrator or a musician looking for another band member. All creatives are welcome to talk about their art and to hopefully, form connections based on shared interests.

Shut Up and Write!

Shut Up and Write! is a national writing group that recently started its first Hudson County chapter in Hoboken. In Shut Up and Write!, members get together to chat about their current projects, then take the next 1 to 2 hours to write. All information on meetings is available on their Meetup page, which is free to join and linked above.

Are you a creative writer? Tell us about your recent project in the comments below!

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Written by:

Stephanie Osmanski writes honest things about health, the planet, and being a woman. Her words have appeared on Business Insider, Parade, Eat This Not That, Dogster, Scary Mommy, Green Matters, Parents, Seventeen, Life & Style, InTouch Weekly, and more. Her articles have been syndicated on World Economic Forum, MSN, MSN UK, and MSN Canada. In her free time, Stephanie and her registered therapy dog, Koda, volunteer at local hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare facilities.


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