Community Reading Groups

Our Reading Round groups meet regularly over thirty weeks of the year and is open to any member of the public who has a passion and curiosity for reading. Participants are immersed in great writing from all corners of the world and travel deep into a poem or short story to discover how writing works and what makes a text sing.

Together with a professional writer, the close-knit group will learn to listen, discuss and share with others.

Find my local group

It’s been really lovely to come out of my bubble of who I would normally talk to about books. You will come into contact with a story that will challenge you and make you think with a group of people who are as enthusiastic as you are about reading.

Reading Round participant

It’s about sharing ideas and getting insights which you might not get as a solitary reader. Nobody says your opinion is wrong or right, it just might spark off a debate. I would recommend joining a reading group if you enjoy hearing other people’s ideas about stories and participating in a debate.

Reading Round participant

You get to meet interesting people who come from very different backgrounds, and it teaches you to read in greater depth.

Reading Round participant

Story Tree

Story Tree uses the Reading Round model to bring writers, refugees, asylum seekers and vulnerable migrants together over the magic of story and poetry. The courses run for up to six weeks, each session is 90 minutes long. The group is led by a professional UK writer who reads aloud and discusses stories and poems. The selected texts are adapted to the language needs of the group, and the materials are often timeless fables, folktales, or poems.

When people come together over the human gift of a story, great things can happen.

For more information, please get in touch with the Writing for Life team.

Contact Us


There’s no homework or any kind of preparation. The RLF Fellow will supply all the texts – you don’t have to buy them. You will read two new texts every week, a poem, short story or other piece of prose.

No skills or qualifications are necessary. All you need is a willingness to listen to others and be receptive to new ideas, to be open-minded and to appreciate that different people have different points of view. And you need to be curious to know how great writing works.

The text will be read out loud to you by the writer, and then you will discuss how the writing works, what it’s about, and what choices the writer has made when writing it.

There are thirty sessions in a year, each 90 minutes long. You will find that the group really bonds over the weeks and that your presence matters, but of course, everyone will understand if you have to miss the odd session.

Sessions are led by a published, experienced professional writer and RLF Fellow from our Fellowship programme or WritersMosaic contributing writer, our online magazine and developmental resource focused on UK writers of the global majority.

You will gain experience in reading, thinking and talking about all kinds of writing; you will read and discuss a wide variety of texts; you will become more aware of language and how it’s used. And you will become part of a close-knit group intent on exploring great literature together.

All the texts are read aloud, and you will have a copy to read for yourself. The groups are run in venues with good access. Everyone is welcome, and we recommend getting in touch with the RLF Fellow who hosts the group to discuss your requirements ahead of the sessions.

You can certainly join a group. There’s no pressure to speak, and the writer who leads the group will ensure you are included even if you don’t verbally contribute. However, you may find it hard to resist joining in the discussion at some point.