Join the 2019 Writing Journey

The Writing Journey (aka the Journey) is the year-round,a la carte writing group that is associated with the Naperville region of National Novel Writing Month. It is a completely free writing group where all are welcome to participate in our many Paths. A Path is an activity or event or project that one or more Journey participants creates and coordinates. Paths can be a one-time social event like a lunch or dinner out at a restaurant or a picnic or a musical (like Next to Normal or Heathers) or they can be as complex as a short story anthology. Some recent popular Paths include: short story anthologies, the (in-person) Critiquing group, the Editing Path, the query path, the MiniWriMo challenge (10k in 2 weeks), the Writer’s Voice workshop, Shakespeare Reader’s Theatre, the Writing Excuses Master Class and the Poetry Path.

You do not need to be in the region to be a member of the Journey, though many of our events and activities are local. The Journey’s core track are a series of monthly general meetings January through June and again in September (we take off July, August, October, November and December). Each general meeting typically features two interactive workshops (each presented by one or more volunteers) and some story walls (which are small group feedback/advice sessions on your novel). Our sponsors are the Woodridge Public Library and the Glen Ellyn Public Library, so the meetings will be held there (see for logistics). Meetings are typically Saturday afternoons.

To join (or rejoin for existing Journey members),please take this survey:

Be sure to share your thoughts on new Paths you would like to see (e.g., there were some rumblings about a knitting Path and a children’s book writing Path; and I think it might be cool to have an improv Path).

2019 Journey Members

  • NewMexicoKid
  • Animollya
  • Haberdashing
  • samcadams
  • odd soul
  • Leslie Hatch Gail
  • Squid
  • Writertodd07
  • Jessica Olive
  • aprilkitty
  • Grachael
  • Loanfreestudent
  • NaNoSue
  • dohenyster
  • anitairons
  • Gwen Tolios
  • DJRM
  • Basil Cliffside
  • pamebellezza
  • tireddadx3
  • cdecrease
  • Whitey
  • Cee-Bee
  • LibraryLore
  • KCSwier
  • DiamondRuby73
  • eleanor.roth
  • Debko
  • b-writer
  • Annavaneast
  • sadierose
  • Memoir
  • Mochomito
  • Barbara
  • fishmama
  • dianaartemis
  • corvus dubh
  • India Powers
  • elizhall

Tim is a founding member of the Journey, co-Municipal Liaison for the Naperville region of National Novel Writing Month, and the author of several short stories.

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Shakespeare Reader’s Theatre 2018: King Lear

Shakespeare Reader’s Theatre is an open event (all are welcome; no previous experience is required) designed to give people the opportunity to read aloud the works of the great bard and to do some acting in a company of ones peers. This year, our Shakespeare Reader’s Theatre event will be Saturday, February 17th in the upstairs room at the Woodridge Public Library, 1-3 PM.

We’ll be reading/performing King Lear. If people have tablets or large phones, they are welcome to get the free e-book and use that; or there will be some copies of King Lear available in print.

From Wikipedia: King Lear is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare. It depicts the gradual descent into madness of the title character, after he disposes of his kingdom giving bequests to two of his three daughters based on their flattery of him, bringing tragic consequences for all.

Tim is a founding member of the Journey, co-Municipal Liaison for the Naperville region of National Novel Writing Month, and the author of several short stories.

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2018: Anthology 15

For authors, love gives us a vehicle we can use to drive our readers to new emotional heights. We get to (if we’re successful) bring the readers on our character’s strong emotional journey. In a short story or flash fiction or poem, this is necessarily a short, focused thing, perhaps as short as a single scene.

Contemporary does not mean conventional. There are no formulas for how you express your journey.

We’re looking for all emotions that tie into love:

  • Fear for one you love
  • Fear of losing love
  • Joy on love fulfilled
  • Excitement on finding love
  • Heartbreak from love ending
  • Loneliness being away from one you love
  • Jealousy of a loved one
  • etc.

Sign up to participate in this year’s short story anthology!

Title: to be determined – maybe something like: The Many Splendored Thing

Description: An exploration of love: the emotions in human relationships in short stories and poems

Genre: Contemporary


  • It contains characters that behave the way most readers would. The characters must be believable.
  • The story is set in the present.
  • The setting is a real place or at least seems like a real place.
  • The events are events that could happen in real life.
  • Dialogue is informal and conversational and often includes regional dialects.

Sub-genre: Romance

Sub-genre flavor: Up to you (e.g., mystery, humor, etc.), but it is just a flavor, not a true sub-genre (i.e. not historical romance, sci-fi romance, etc.)

Rating: PG-13 (like all Journey anthologies)

Story lengths: 700 words flash fiction,  5000 words short story

Poetry?: Contemporary poems are encouraged.

Romance: while many stories will focus on romantic love, the anthology will be open to other kinds (e.g., the normal love a parent has for his/her child). We are looking for evoking the strong emotional response in the reader.

Sex/Eroticism: Hey, this is a PG-13 anthology. Nothing explicit is allowed or encouraged.

What is love? You can have love between

  • Two teenagers who suddenly notice each other
  • An older married couple
  • Adults trying to make love work in their busy lives
  • A parent and their children
  • Two dear friends
  • Etc

Love inspires

  • Crazy choices
  • Sacrifice
  • Devotion
  • Fevered imagination
  • Etc.



20 January Google+ hangout kick-off meeting 1-2 pm CST
10 February First drafts due 10 February
24 February Critiques due 24 February
17 March Second drafts due 10 17 March
31 March Critiques due 31 March
21 April Third drafts due 21 April
20 May Critiques due 20 May
10 Jun Final drafts due 10 June

Tim Yao