Pens Around the World in 2022 – another year older

Two years ago nine of us got together on-line and decided to set up Pens Around the World. We had all been relatively new members of another writers’ group, Writers Abroad. That closed down at the end of 2020, but the nine of us decided we wanted to keep going under a new name. For more about our origin story, see my end-of-the-year post for 2021 here.

Members, less and more

Pens surrounding a globe of the world

Since the PATW website launched in 2021, three of our founding members have moved on to other things, but the six who remain have been joined by two more of the old Writers’ Abroad group. We have also welcomed five new members, and a sixth who tried us on, but decided we weren’t quite the right fit.

All of us are writers in various stages of our writing lives. All of us recognise the benefits we can get from sharing our writings and giving and receiving feedback and encouragement, tips and advice. All of us are in situations where local writing groups are difficult to find or participate in. Many of us are living in countries different from where we started out. Some of us live peripatetic lives, while some are in isolated parts of the world.

For all these reasons – and others – an on-line writers’ group is a great solution and we remain open to welcoming new members. You can apply to join us by filling out the form under Join Us in the top menu – or just click here.

Behind the scenes and front of house

Writers in a conference

Behind the scenes we have discussion forums that take up writing and the business side of writing (relevant issues, agents, publishing etc). We have forums to share tips for competitions and publishing opportunities and where we can share our success stories. (Some of these latter items become notices in the carousels on our front page.) We share tips about books we’re reading or that have helped us in our writing. We also use the forums to schedule meetings on Zoom – we have our own dedicated Zoom room – where we can get together live to discuss business and read work-in-progress for immediate reactions.

In the front of the house, the public facing side of our website, we take it in turns to publish blog posts weekly. Either our Pensives, which are writing prompts, or our Bi-weekly Wisdom posts with stories about writing and our writers’ lives. (Even, occasionally, wisdom!)

You can see who is due to publish by looking in the FAQ (in the main menu) and clicking on the When am I scheduled to write a post? Tab.

You can follow the site to get an e-mail reminder when we publish a new post. Please fill out the subscription form in the right-hand column. (It’s in the right-hand column on a computer or a tablet; it’s further down the page if you are reading this on a mobile phone.)

Statistics and …

A curious magpie counting peanuts
A curious magpie counting peanuts

In 2022 the website received about 8000 visitors (up by roughly 600 on 2021). We received most visitors in August, February and May; fewest in the last quarter of the year. Meanwhile, members logged in 635 times – a little less often than once a week on average.

Our group and this website are both works in progress. New members will certainly bring new interests and concerns, and we will adapt the site and our activities to accommodate them. But we will probably continue to publish our weekly blog posts, and promote them on Twitter and Facebook.

… Links

Finally, as last year, I’d like to highlight some of our blog posts from the year.

Sue's hand knitted socks on a piano keyboard
Susan’s hand-knitted socks

In January Sue and Jos started us off with two different views of the writing process. Jos asked Why start writing? Sue explored the ways in which Writing is akin to knitting.

In February Kimberly shared some writing Prompts to Stretch our Senses while Nigel explained what working as a journalist taught him about writing.

In March Gill argued that Nothing comes across like an Acrostic. Later, Gail discussed the value of Walking and Writing, and in April Chris asked What’s your style … and why?

In June, Jos challenged us to complete a dialogue of which she’d only supplied the half, while Gill, and then Michael in August, suggested different ways to get lost in music for inspiration and listen while you work.

Tech and me
Bruce’s fear: Tech and Me

Meanwhile, in July Bruce told us about his tech problems: We have a smart TV that’s smarter than I am. And Debbie confessed that Keeping up momentum and motivation in my writing life is a hard job.

At the end of August, John (this author’s non-Admin version) shared One word cues while Jim, in September, wrote about The Art of the Personal Essay.

In October, Ali invited us to write about Leaky Individuals. And our newest member, Miriam considered a term we are all familiar with as writers, Submitting!

The year ended on a high note with a guest post from former PATW member Angela telling us about her experience of the Ultimate Novel Writing Course.

That was the year that was. Onward to 2023!


  1. Nice bit of promotion, John. We deserve it! It’s true, PATW offers a great bit of camaraderie to defeat the isolated and lonely writer syndrome, especially if you don’t live in a country where (in our cases) English is the lingua franca. Thanks for all of your work, John. Looking forward to a new year and new challenges.

    • Thanks Debbie! A bit of recycling from last year, but there’s a deal of new stuff too. And there will be more to come – especially if we can add some new members in the coming year.

    • Thanks Chris. There are statistics and to spare, but I hope these were the most interesting ones.

  2. Very informative post, John! It’s great to see our achievements over a year laid out like this. I’d forgotten how much we got done and I love seeing the growth stats. Great stuff!

    • Thanks Kimberly! I think it is good to remind ourselves of our achievements. They are incremental – quite small increments in truth – but look back over a year or two and it’s very encouraging to see how far we’ve come.

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