What are Paths?

The Journey is a cafeteria-style writing group: members can create or elect to follow different Paths. A Path can be as ephemeral as a one-time outing (e.g., to meet for lunch or dinner or to go to a writer’s conference) or encompass a significant project (e.g., creation of one of our short story anthologies) or be ongoing (e.g., regular meeting writing/editing/critiquing sessions). It’s all up to the members to decide which Paths are offered and which Paths they participate in.


Some of the most popular Paths have been short story projects, where members write stories, critique each others stories, edit the anthology and self-publish it. See our collection of anthologies, all of which are available from Amazon.

General Meetings

The Journey holds seven general meetings during the year: monthly meetings from January through June and one in September. October and November are filled with NaNoWriMo-related events. General meetings frequently feature workshops presented by various members covering writing-related topics.

Critiquing Path

There is a group led by Daniel McCullough who meet twice a month in person/via Zoom to do critiquing using the Writer’s Workshop method.

Editing Path

Sam McAdams leads the Editing Path, which provides a mix of accountability, time for editing (similar to the NaNo write-ins), and brief, informal workshops on various editing-related topics.

Technology Path

The Tech Path, led by Jenn Bauer, explores and shares information about the software tools and technology that help writers and creators. There are monthly workshops.

Refilling the Well Path

Monthly virtual meetings to refill our creativity well via art, science, nature, music. Also an active channel in Slack for those who can’t make the virtual meeting or to discuss topics. Information is in a google document.

Shut Yer Trap and Write

An offshoot of the Editing Path, these writing/editing sessions are like NaNoWriMo write-ins but less formal. Organized by Sam McAdams.

Open Yer Trap

An offshoot of the Shut Yer Trap sessions, these are one hour chat sessions for writers and creators to talk. Organized by Jenn Bauer.

Writing Outings

Groups have attended author readings, writer’s conferences, and have organized outings to go write at the Morton Arboretum and at the Museum of the Chicago Art Institute.

Shakespeare Reader’s Theatre

Everyone needs to recharge their creative batteries. Just like Joss Whedon and his group of friends, we hold 1-2 Shakespeare Reader’s Theatre events, which allow everyone to actively participate in performing/reading Shakespeare’s wonderful plays.

Social Outings

It’s important for members of a writing group to interact with each other even outside a pure writing context. For this reason, we’ve promoted social outings. These have included: lunch and dinners to area restaurants, outings to see musicals, movies, adventures with archery target practice, and game nights, including Dungeons and Dragons, led by Daniel McCullough.

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  1. Carol Gaus says:

    Thanks to Ed for the tour of Mitsuwa in Arlington Heights. The next time I shop there I will have a better understanding of the products offered. Ed should post the name of the Ramen restaurant we where we had lunch. It was a wonderful experience to taste an authentic noodle soup. Ed also introduced us to the flavors of a Mexican ice cream parlor.

    Socializing with two writers such as Ed and Tim has renewed my interest in blogging on my website Give me a week or so to compose some items.

    If you are interested in an artist group, mine has a meetup this Thursday, the 19th at 5:30 pm. We meet at the Corner House in Lombard. Has to be an early meeting as the coffee house closes at 7 pm. We display our work on the walls of the shop.

    My latest source of creative inspiration is an author/artist Austin Kleon.

    Keep writing, exploring and enjoying life. Carol J. Gaus CJEGV

  2. Carol Gaus says:

    P.S. I really need a better proof reader. CJEGV