Organizer FAQ

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I’m considering becoming an Organizer…

What does being an Organizer entail?

Hosting a Shut Up & Write event is very straightforward. We guide you through every step of the setup, and Meetup will handle your RSVPs for you. You’d just need to pick a location like a local cafe and a time each week that you could host a meeting. The meetups start by everyone introducing themselves and saying what they’ll be working on. Then you’ll simply set a timer for an hour and tell everyone to “Shut Up & Write!”. When the timer is done, go around quickly and everyone says what they got done and how they feel about it. That’s it! There’s optional socializing if people stick around afterwards, but the format is extremely simple for a reason… it works!

What are the benefits of being an Organizer?

First and foremost, it’s a great way to commit to your writing. It also is a good way to connect with other writers in your area, not to mention it’s a lot of fun! Organizers make a real difference in their community, and we are here to support you every step of the way.

What is the time commitment for being an Organizer?

It takes less than two hours a week to plan and host a regular Shut Up & Write!® event.

Does it cost anything to become an Organizer?

There are no costs or fees. We cover all promotion and setup costs.

Is there a time of day or day of the week that is the best for hosting my event?

Whatever time or day you pick, you will find a group of writers that would love to join you. Evenings or weekends can be a little better for the 9-5 crowd, but the most important thing is that it’s a good time for you to commit to your own writing.

What kinds of event spaces do you recommend?

Our most popular event space is in coffee shops, partially because that’s where our first Shut Up & Write!® events were held. Bookstores, libraries, delis, and restaurants are also common. Whatever you choose, it should be easily accessible and open to the public, and is ideally not too noisy, with plenty of tables and access to parking. Comfortable seats, a few outlets, and reasonable drink/snacks are also recommended. Wifi is also optional; please be sure to note it in your description for your event.

Do I have to host my event every week or can I do a different schedule?

We definitely recommend that you host an event every week because it really helps you and other writers strengthen the crucial habit of making time to write. That being said, if you need to start out every other week, we can accommodate you.

Can I have a co-host for my event?

Yes! We actually recommend this. It can be a great way to keep the consistency even when one person has to miss a week, and it’s fun to have that extra support! Feel free to mention at the beginning of your event that you are looking for a co-host, and if you find someone, CC them in an email to to introduce them to us. We will guide them through the rest of the Organizer setup process.

Can I host an event virtually?

Currently, we are not set up to support virtual groups, but it is something we are looking into so stay tuned!

Can I host a Shut Up & Write!® event only for a specific kind of writers?

One of the best things about Shut Up & Write!® events are that they allow writers of all genres, skill levels, and stages of the writing process to support each other (not to mention ages, genders, etc.). We love that you want to specifically support a certain kind of writer, but is our belief that being as inclusive as possible is actually the best way to be supportive.

I’m interested in hosting an event with a different format (marathon sessions, critique sessions, etc.). How do I go about doing this?

That’s great! We definitely recommend that, if you haven’t already, you start by hosting events with our standard Shut Up & Write!® format. This is our tried-and-true method we have used for tens of thousands of events all over the world, and it is important that every one of our Organizers become comfortable with it. Beyond that, please reach out to us at and ask for guidance on our other event formats.

Common Questions from Organizers

How do I set up another Organizer on the chapter?

Thank you for your help! Please send us an email at and CC the interested person to get us introduced. We’ll take it from there guiding them through registration and setup.

Why am I seeing another Organizer or event on the chapter?

As chapters grow, others may organize separate events and therefore each chapter is a community effort. When it comes to providing a variety of events for writers in the area, we think, the more the merrier! If a new Organizer joins the chapter, it is simply a part of a larger goal of providing writers with as many resources as possible to get their writing done, and it does not reflect on your performance in any way.

Will you help me promote my event in any way?

If you’re interested in getting the word out further beyond just Meetup’s normal level of promotion, please reach out to us at with details about you and your event. Let us know if you’d like us to make a custom flyer for your event to hang at the event space, or if you’d like us to give you a shout out on our Facebook page (or both!)

I’m getting a lot of no-shows. Am I doing something wrong?

No, you are not doing anything wrong. Unfortunately no-shows on Meetup are a fairly common occurrence and they don’t really mean anything. Some people are simply overly optimistic about their ability to show up to events. If it is a consistent problem, try sending out a friendly message a day or two before your event telling everyone you’re excited to see them and to please update their RSVP if they can no longer attend so that you know how many tables to reserve.

My event is still pretty low in attendance. Is this normal?

Yes, it is very common for events to start small, but don’t worry. Keep at it and you will find your regular group over time. In the meantime, just remember that hosting an event first and foremost is about showing up for yourself and your own writing, so keep up the great work!

I’m moving to a new city. Can I keep being an Organizer?

Of course! We’d love to help you start a new event or a new chapter wherever you are headed. Just let us know where you’re headed and we will make sure you have a new event ready to go.

I will need to miss one of my events soon. What do I do?

Life happens, we certainly understand. Ideally, it Is best to have a co-host to support you under circumstances like this. If you have someone in mind, please see the previous question about how to get them set up. If you don’t have a co-host, then you will need to cancel the individual event you need to miss. We simply ask that you give as much warning as possible (at least two days) before cancelling an event. Go to the specific event you wish to cancel (double check the date carefully) and when you select the menu option to delete the event, make sure you click it for only the individual event NOT the event series. You might also consider sending a message out to anyone who has RSVPed ahead of time.

What happens if I have a problem with someone at one of my events?

We are always here to support you. Please let us know if you have any issues with individuals at your events, or anything else for that matter. Reach out to any time you need our support or guidance.

How do I make changes to my event?

Click the “Organizer tools” menu in the upper right of your event and click “Edit Meetup”. Notice that it asks if you want to edit this Meetup only or the whole Meetup series. Only select the whole series if you want to make changes to this and all future events. Don’t forget to save your changes!

How do I delete my event?

Click the “Organizer tools” menu in the upper right of your event and click “Cancel Meetup”. Notice that it asks if you want to cancel this event, cancel and delete this event, or cancel and delete all following events. Deleting means that no one, including you, will be able to see the event page ever again. Only select to delete all following events if you want to cancel all future dates for this event as well.

I need to step down as an Organizer. What needs to be done?

Thank you for letting us know! We’re sorry to see you go, but we appreciate the time you’ve dedicated to our community.  Please let the writers in your group know that you plan to leave and ask if someone wants to take it over.  If so, please let us know who they are and we’ll work directly with them to get it transferred over. If not, that’s ok too – please let us know when your last event will be and make sure there aren’t any future events scheduled after that date. You may also choose to step down from your role as Event Organizer on the Meetup chapter. And please let us know if you ever want to start hosting again, whether on your current chapter or somewhere new.

How do I set someone else as the host for my event?

We actually handle pretty much all of the new Organizer setup process. All you have to do is introduce the new host to us via email at and let us know if they will be taking over your event or simply co-hosting it with you. We will take care of the rest!

I love being an Organizer! Is there a way for me to get even more involved in the Shut Up & Write!® community?

Yes! Please reach out to us (at, you guessed it, and let us know you’re interested in becoming more involved. From writing blog posts to providing an extra level of guidance to writers in our community, there are even more ways for you to make a difference and further commit to the craft of writing!

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