Looking for an advanced writers’ group, critique, or accountability support group? There’s an ink tribe waiting for you. It’s vetted. And free.
Deus ex Machina Advanced Writers Collective (DeM) is a Los Angeles and Virtual (worldwide) community of advanced writers that gather online to help each other finish projects. Members local to your area can also meet in person.
You probably figured out by now that “deus ex machina” means God out of the Machine or pulling an impossible resolution (usually a happy ending) out of nowhere. In the context of this collective, I chose this title because we play God as writers, we are the vehicle or machine that generates stories, and our creativity is divinely inspired.
Writers like myself often take workshops to build momentum to finish projects. The problem with that is you spend more time critiquing than writing.
I created a platform on Slack where writers can meet and find accountability or critique partners to help them finish projects.
This is not a “writer’s group” but are groups within groups. When you join the platform, you become part of a self-organizing community of writers available to support one another. You can post what type of group you’re looking for or you create your own group, then arrange to meet via Zoom, Google Meet, or in person. It’s flexible, customized to your needs, is here when you need it and requires nothing of your time when you don’t. Something to have in your back pocket.
Whether you want to be in a mash-up group for a fresh perspective, explore feedback from writers immersed in a laser-focused genre, run with a PhD crowd or group of educators, pump up your moderating muscles, or hang with retired lawyers who can finally channel their inner-Ayn Rand, it’s up to you, and you can mix it up anytime.
“More Writing, Less Critiquing”
Sometimes, a heavy critique group is not ideal for your schedule or needs and you just want more writing done. If you like the idea of meeting once a week for social accountability, to air out your pages by sharing out loud with no pre-reading, heavy or written critiques, check out the “Block Method” structure that I created. It’s metaphorically a big-ass Pomodoro timer set for 4 weeks or 1 month to set markers to complete big projects like full manuscripts, books, etc.
What kind of community are you looking for?
Writers are better literary citizens when we are sharing and foraging together rather than competing against one another. It is important to preserve the energy and soul of art and artists and why we create art. Capitalism demands that we compare, compete, or feel greater or less than one another according to its model of success in terms of dollars, endorsements, awards, and fame. This degrades our artistic purpose and worthiness.
The goal of creating art is found in autonomy and freedom, which is achieved by staying true to purpose and the values of why we create. All artists regardless of what medium strive to authentically create as a sustainable vocation. But it’s easy to get lost in the mechanics of capitalism. So the goal is not to reject capitalism, but to make it work for us, not us working for it. As you can see, capitalism has no life force without original material. It needs us. But we can’t create art if we have lost our sense of purpose.
As you join a community, you enter a state of consciousness that drives your purpose. I have stated mine here.
I just start the fires so you can kindle them.
— Ji, Organizer/ Fire Starter
Who can join
Advanced Writers creating long-form projects (full manuscripts).
Inclusive Queer, BIPOC, and safe space for all humans.
Acceptable Genres & Medium
Genres: All Genres *Except Horror (and all subgenres)
Mediums: All mediums *Except non-literary arts or non-scripted entertainment mediums
Long-Form Projects (except poetry, which is its own community where experimentation and generative writing is encouraged).
What are the features and benefits?
- Find your ink tribe.
- Advanced writers/ vetted community.
- Members create or choose small groups (from one-on-one to 5 members max).
- Reach manageable goals with Block Method, accountability structure.
- 24/7 virtual Pomodoros for the midnight owls or early birds seeking online writing time together.
- No “homework”, written notes, or pre-reading required and optional.
- Poetry Pantheon – a special gathering place just for poets!
- Flexible. Lurk all you want. Come and go as you please.
- Celebrate wins and milestones.
How to Get Started
Review the Advanced Writers Criteria below
Complete the Writer’s Group Join Form
Send your bio, including writing experience, project description or logline, including genre to: machina.writers@machinawriters
Advanced Writers Criteria:
Writers come advanced in spirit or advanced in stripes. As writers, we are always advancing and fall into a spectrum of what advanced-level means.
Here’s the baseline:
- By referral or Slack member invite
- OR any one of the following:
- 5+ years of professional development, workshop experience, or industry experience working in a literary or scripted/entertainment medium.
- 3+ years undergrad majoring in literary arts or screenwriting.
- Attend(ed) an MFA program, Attend(ed) a PhD program.
- Published in literary journal, Published a book, Self-published a book
- Poets can submit work samples (or meet any of the criteria listed above). See “Advanced in Spirit.”
- Awards/placements or accomplishments you wish to mention.
- “Advanced in Spirit”: self-taught or passion writers can submit samples (first chapter, first 10 pages of screenplay, completed shorts script, or 5 poems).
Once the criteria is met, you will receive an invitation to join the Deus Ex Machina Advanced Writers Collective online platform on Slack (organized groups meet on Zoom or Google Meet).
This is a vetted network of professional, advanced, and committed writers devoted to the literary arts and scripted film & television in the following mediums and genres: fiction/ novels, creative non-fiction/ personal essay, memoir, poetry, auto-fiction, hybrid/experimental, screenwriting, drama, dramedy, rom-com, musicals, sci-fi, fantasy, speculative fiction, historical fiction, kidlit, middle-grade, YA, LGBTQ, Queer, BIPOC, Asian, Latinx and more.
*This is a horror-free space (including all sub-genres of horror: comedy, speculative, thriller, true crime, etc.). No excessive gore, shock factor, or gratuitous violence.
Los Angeles Writers Groups – Online Writing Accountability Groups – Writers Workshops – Virtual Worldwide Online Writing Community – Critique Groups – Writer’s Online Support