A Teacherless Writing Group: Why It’s Needed and How It Works

in writing •  11 months ago


As I said in my previous post, writing is not just about getting things down on paper, but also about getting things inside the reader’s head. Writing is not something happening in my mind only; it’s also a transaction between me and the reader. But how do we know what our readers think and how they feel about our writing?

A teacherless writing group is a place where people share their writing and give each other authentic, constructive feedback on how the author’s words were actually experienced: sort of like movies happening inside your mind as you’re reading. It’s important to note that this is not about offering advice on what to improve in a text. In fact, advice helps in a very limited way, as everyone has unique personal histories, values, and modes of expression.

A teacherless writing group:

  • consists of diverse people. (Fortunately, Steemians are very diverse and this could be a blessing for such a group.)
  • brings together group members committed to writing and giving feedback regularly during a set period of time.
  • offers its members “impact feedback”, answering a simple question: what happened in your mind when you were reading the text?
  • provides a facilitator who makes sure the group and feedback rules are observed.

A teacherless writing group helps make writing easier, more pleasurable, and more prolific.

The man behind the idea of a teacherless writing group is Peter Elbow, Professor of English Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the author of several influential books on writing including Writing Without Teachers and Writing With Power.

I’ve been thinking about setting up such a group for a while. Previously, I conducted several writing workshops and online courses. Now I’m feeling it’s the right time and Steemit is the right place. In the next post I will describe in more detail the kind of feedback that will be practiced in the group. Stay tuned!

If you are interested in becoming a member of such a group, let me know in the comments!

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I'm a blogger, web developer, designer, entrepreneur, world citizen and a father to eight. I write about productivity, writing, web development, travel, and crypto. If you've enjoyed this post, please consider a resteem & upvote, and follow me at @vitkolesnik.
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Peter Elbow! You're the first person to mention that name in forever. I remember the name Peter Economy, but had forgotten Elbow.
Love your writing posts, Vitaly! You spare me the time and trouble of posting all this good stuff myself. ;)


Thank you, I appreciate your feedback! Great to know Peter Elbow's name is getting due attention) And thank you for the resteem!)

I hope to someday have the courage to join such a group. I think I can write well but it's not easy to find my voice, my stories. It's easier with prompts and requests. I hope to get better in time :)
Thanks for your work on the Isle.


There's a beautiful chapter on finding one's voice in Peter Elbow's "Writing with Power".

If you wait until you're a perfect writer, then no writing group will be ever needed! lol


I was inspired to write a post yesterday after reading your post so I hope the trend may continue.
I'm not waiting to become a perfect writer, I want to reach the fount of my ideas with greater ease.

Wow! This seems like something that could make a huge impact on aspiring writers. Sometimes all you need is the support and input of other writers.


I believe so!

This sounds like such a cool idea!


I'm pleased to hear that! :)

This sounds better and better!


Thanks for the appreciation! :)

I'm interested!


Thank you, I'll reach you on Discord soon!

Spot on: Writing is..."a transaction between me and the reader."
Thank you for articulating that so well! I'll be sharing this with my colleagues and students.


It's actually Peter Elbow's idea, I just borrowed it :)