The Other Writers' Group

by David Barnes.

I thought I'd get itchy feet after 6 months in Paris. Yet I'm still here nearly 8 years later. This is largely because here I found the home I didn't know I was looking for - a community of people who care about writing. SpokenWord and The Other Writers' Group have been the heart of that.

David Barnes and Marielle Brown at The Other Writers' Group

The Other Writers' Group
Every Saturday 5pm-7pm
at Shakespeare & Company, 37 rue de la Bûcherie, 75005
Métro St Michel
Charge for participating 5 euros
Bring at least 6 copies of anything you want feedback on.
(Cheap photocopies can be done nearby at Mistral Photo, 40 bis rue St Jacques.)

This is a drop-in feedback workshop I've been running almost every Saturday since 2005 at Shakespeare & Company. It's also the heart of the SpokenWord Paris scene, where a lot of the writers at SpokenWord get together and workshop their poems, stories and novels.

Why ''The Other Writers' Group''?
Because it's different. I work to make it a place where the focus is on what effect a poem, story, etc has, how it works, what could be different. It's practical. I'm not interested in judging the work or personal power games. The goal is accurate and useful feedback in an attempt to really understand the text. 
The cost makes it affordable to everyone and very good value for money.

Who's it for?

  • Writers who want feedback to know what effect their work has. Who want to improve their craft. Who are looking for a community of writers, a creative home.
  • Also, readers who can give us their reaction to the stories and poems.
  • The curious.
  • People who are in Paris for a weekend, a year, or a lifetime.

David Barnes in the room at Shakespeare & Co.

 Bruce Sherfield who runs the workshop every other week.

Do you go for a drink afterwards?
Yes, many of us go for a drink afterwards, usually round the corner at the Bistro des Artistes, 6 rue des Anglais. And when the weather's good, we get some wine and sit on the quais of the Seine.

Does it really run every Saturday?
Inshallah, yes. But if by any mischance we can't run, I will post a message on this blog.

Do I just turn up? Or do I email first?
Just turn up. The beauty of it is that you can turn up whatever Saturday you want. It's a drop-in group.

How many pages can I bring?
Up to about 3 or 4 (or if it's double spaced prose then 8.)