I just got done putting up a craigslist SF post on behalf of my writing group. We rotate the task.
We always debate about this. Someone drops out, or starts to attend less regularly. The group starts to feel too small. On the other hand, it feels so cohesive. And everyone gets to submit work more often. So it's a trade-off, and a little risky, when we decide to...what do you call it with a writing group. Recruit? Open the doors? Extend an invitation?
It's not like recruiting for the Marines: "Looking for a few good men." Isn't that the line? We're looking for either. Or both. We are pretty evenly balanced, gender-wise. We have a nice range of ages. (We'll, okay, we're kind of heavily weighted in the "midlife and beyond" direction. But we have a nice range at least. 26 to 62, or something like that.)
The main thing for me is that the group has come to feel congenial, supportive, but focused. Sometimes I get some pretty pointed feedback from my tough-minded peers. But it's always helpful.
It also helps that we all seem to be in pretty much the same place: We're all writing steadily and seriously. Most of us have published (or will soon have published) books, serious nonfiction and memoir. But we all seem to share an interest in writing fiction.
That's one thing that's been interesting, each time one of us puts out a notice inviting new members. We can see how our understanding of the group's focus keeps evolving. Like this time, we made it official: we do read each other's fiction, even though we continue to have more of a track record with nonfiction.
By the way, if any Bay Area Red Room members might be interested, please get in touch and I'll be happy to share more details. We meet biweekly, at night, in Berkeley.
I'll see if I can post the craiglist link:
Causes Blair Kilpatrick Supports
Louisiana Folk Roots, National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, Habitat for Humanity/Musician's Village New Orleans, Doctors Without Borders