Let me be up front: I’m committed to my writing group Hopefull Monsters, and I have no intention of leaving it. They are too valuable as trusted first readers, and I genuinely enjoy their “virtual” company. That said, I joined a new online writing group called Codex.
Several years ago, I stumbled across Codex while looking for a writing group. At the time, I didn’t qualify for membership—Codex is only open to writers who have made at least one pro-rate sale. So I promptly forgot about it until Michael Vella, one of my fellow Hopefull Monsters, asked if I had joined Codex. I checked into it again, and decided to give it a try.
I haven’t had a chance to fully explore all that Codex has to offer, but it is a fairly large and active community of “neo-professional” writers who share all sorts of information on the business of writing, the craft, new markets, etc. Codex has a lot of similarities to Hopefull Monsters, but due its larger membership, it can cast a wider net for information. Also, many of the writers are farther along the career trail than me (several are starting to land agents, have published first novels, etc.), so their advice should prove valuable. Where Hopefull Monsters tops Codex is in the detail of the story critiques. This doesn’t surprise me; a small group allows the writers to develop familiarity with each other, which I think allows for greater “honesty” without fear of potentially offending.
Given all this, I’m happy with my decision to branch out and join Codex. It looks like it will be a nice complement to Hopefull Monsters.