|The famous blue gate of the Richard Jefferies Museum|
Mulberry Arts at Richard JefferiesThe Richard Jefferies Museum is great! It hosts LOADS of writing groups! (And, as a bonus, if you're there late in the evening then the ghost might bang on the floorboards.) Details of their writing courses/groups are here. Some of the courses have already started so it might be best to write and query before paying to reserve a place.
It can be a challenge to find the museum so allow plenty of time for the hunt! Your best bet is to park at the Sun Inn (next to Coate Water). Then walk up the main road towards the Great Western Hospital, until you pass a blue gate (see pic above) set in the wall on your right. The next entrance on the right (a sort of gravelly driveway) is the museum.
Poetry Swindon Open MicPoetry Swindon used to be known as BlueGate Poets (because, again, they have strong links to the Richard Jefferies museum - see the 'blue gate' pic above!). Their "open mic" night is very friendly. You can bring a poem or short creative piece to read for your 5 minute slot... or you can just sit and listen to clever people reading clever words! Poetry Swindon also host many workshops throughout the year. See their events page for details.
Writers' Kitchen at Lower Shaw FarmAlso known as the Writers' Café, this informal gathering happens at Lower Shaw Farm on the last Thursday of every month. The next one's on 25 Feb 2016. Email Matt Holland if you want more info (follow this link to get the email address and full details of the group) or just turn up on the night. There's no need to book. You can bring something to read aloud (aim for a maximum of about 1,000 words) or just sit and enjoy listening to everyone else. the size of the group varies from month to month. If the group is small enough then feel free to ask for crit/feedback on your work. Cost is £2.
Swindon Genre WritersAn informal gathering every couple of weeks upstairs at MacKenzies in Old Town. Details are here and if that link's not working then join the facebook group to get all the info. We usually bring a piece of work for crit/feedback but don't feel obliged - you're welcome to just join us for a beer!
Swindon Free WritersI haven't actually managed to attend any meetings with these guys, so please check their site for details. They're a fun group who I believe tend to meet purely to chat rather than swap crit/feedback. There might be a few fun writing exercises as well. Come and vent your editing frustrations over a coffee!
A group of novelists and poets, meeting for writing exercises as well as crit/feedback. They have a facebook group which gives all the details, and the group is also used to share work and feedback/comments. The meeting takes place on the first Tuesday of the month, at Savernake Street Community Hall. Bring a short prose piece (up to 1k words), or a poem. Cost is £2.