The Third Factor Writers' Exchange


Does creative writing play a role in your search for the higher path in life?  If so, we’ve got the group for you!

The Third Factor Writers’ Exchange aspires to offer its members camaraderie as well as creative and intellectual support.  To join us, you need only three things:

  • A writing project – whether one ongoing work or a habit of writing poetry, essays, or short stories
  • A willingness to commit to reading other people’s work on a regular schedule and offering substantive feedback on it
  • To be on board with our mission and purpose, and for this to inform your writing in some sense, large or small

We’ll actively read and discuss members’ writing, helping us hone our imaginations through honest dialogue.  All forms of writing are welcome: prose of all genres, poetry, essays, memoirs, or any other form of nonfiction.  Members may request certain types of feedback based on their needs, from the most brutally honest critique of ideas to help sorting out the emotions they’re processing through their writing.  As with all Third Factor groups, we require a certain level of emotional maturity; for our purposes, we expect that you will be able to both give and receive constructive criticism with grace.  Moreover, while members may of course, respond to a work from their own worldview and hierarchy of values, we are committed to supporting intellectual diversity and welcome writers of various perspectives.  We also welcome writers at all stages of their creative development.  

What We’ll Do Together

  • Each member is invited to post a piece of writing once every two weeks (note: this is subject to change based on member feedback) with a request for specific types of feedback.  As a rough guideline, each bi-weekly sample should be roughly 2,000 words or less, though the group may adjust this word count on a case-by-case basis.
  • Writers may post one excerpt every two weeks with the expectation that all other members will read it. Moderators will announce the deadlines for posting excerpts and responses in the group. Writers are allowed to post additional excerpts in the group forum which others may read at their discretion, but are not required to do so. These should be clearly marked as extra submissions. (More power to you if you can entice people to read beyond the requirement!)
  • Give and you shall receive. Members are required to read each other member’s work and offer feedback, within reason. (If you need to take a break, just let us know.) Members who receive feedback without offering it in return may be removed from the group at the moderators’ discretion.
  • Note that, so as to get more feedback for our writers, we also welcome anyone who wishes to join as a reader, i.e., a member who comments on others’ work but does not submit pieces for critique.
  • If our group grows beyond a reasonable size, we will break into smaller critique circles based on interest so that the feedback commitment does not become onerous.
  • You may offer feedback either in writing at our Circle forum or through Zoom meetings.  We will organize the Zoom groups to accommodate the availability and time zones of interested participants.
  • Members may also use the Zoom forum to post about their writing projects, request help, and get to know one another.  This is at your discretion and there is no participation requirement, though we encourage you to use this as much as you like.

How to Apply

  • First, you must become a member of the Third Factor Community, if you haven’t already.
  • Second, log in to the community and send a Direct Message (DM) to the group’s hosts, Margo Margan and Jessie Mannisto. If you’re joining as a writer, please send a description of your work.  If you are applying as a read-only member, specify that in your DM. Please also briefly share any thoughts on our mission and purpose and how this group specifically – as opposed to any other writing group on the Internet – can help you achieve your writing goals.