Behind the Scenes Sunday

Hugo House – What Makes a Writing Community Great?

Let’s take a peek at the cogs inside the machine and talk about why I write and how I write on Behind the Scenes Sunday! Today I’d like to talk about a place that’s become very near and dear to my heart over the past three years: Hugo House in Seattle, WA.

Hugo House is a place for people who love the written word, whether they be readers or writers. It is open to people of all ages and backgrounds, and you don’t have to be a member to take advantage of the amazing courses, events, and resources they have on offer. I am currently a member and have been off and on since around the start of the pandemic.

I always knew I wanted to be a part of a writing community, but I struggled to find somewhere I felt comfortable. Hugo House felt like a natural place to try because it was ‘local’ to where I lived. I took a few online classes and was blown away by what I experienced. Here was what my craft had been missing — support and expertise from fellow writers on the same journey as me!

There are three things, in my opinion, that make a writing community work:

  1. The people — Why are they there? Are folks showing up to tear other people down? To build themselves up? Or to honestly learn? Are they coming to the work with honesty and sincerity? And will they treat you and your work with respect?
  2. Opportunities for growth — A good writing community should push you out of your comfort zone as a writer and a person. Not so far that you feel alienated or defeated, but far enough to encourage you to grow, change, and progress.
  3. Support — Feeding back into the people in the community, is there a structure and culture of support, rather than competition? Is success celebrated? Are you helped to move past your failures?

What do you think is key to creating a thriving writing community? Are you a part of a particular group that you feel like other’s should know about or join? Let’s chat about it in the comments!

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Published by rsjeffrey

Robin Jeffrey was born in Cheyenne, Wyoming to a psychologist and a librarian, giving her a love of literature and a consuming interest in the inner workings of people’s minds.

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