Start Your Own Book or Film Discussion Group
I’m happy to have helped facilitate the organization of two dozen LGBTQ+ Literature and Film discussion groups, during the early years of this site. Groups were begun in Canada and the US, Latin America, the UK, Europe, and Australia.
Hope this updated resource will help with your group!
- First, decide whether you want to discuss books, films, or books & films. (Of course, a discussion group can be on any topic!)
- Get the word out through friends and members of other groups that you belong to. Also use social media:, such as Facebook Instagram, Twitter, etc.
- Decide among interested people what schedule works best. Try to keep the same day and time each month, while taking holidays into account.
- Will you meet online, or in-person? Or some combination of both?
- Pick the first book and/or movie you all want to discuss. Lot of fun with a Fiction & Film Group, that used to meet in NYC, where we’d all read a book in advance, then together watch the film version, and have a discussion of both, along with a friendly potluck dinner (less expensive, and more personal, than ordering out).(Check the legality for your country, but typically watching a movie with family or friends, in a private home, does not constitute a “public performance” for which you would have to pay the rights’ holder.
- Ideally, there would be no fee involved for your meetings. Times are tough all over. As a cost-saving measure, meet at a member’s home (so no facility rental). Share a pot luck meal. People can bring their favorite dishes, and that can also be a great conversation starter.
- At the first meeting, encourage people to nominate a favorite book or film, for the next discussion or two. Diversity is important, and there’s a lot of that in the 5,000 year LGBTQ+ arts tradition.
- For movies, if meeting in person won’t work, some streaming services (including Netflix Party and Amazon Prime Video Watch Party) let you view — and share comments during — a movie simultaneously with a group, so long as you are all subscribers.
- Whether meeting in-person or online, consider setting up an online group resource (such as a Facebook Group or a Google Group). That way people can continue the discussion by posting their latest thoughts, sharing resources including personal favorites lists, and announcing the date and time for upcoming discussions.
- Keep it simple, friendly, and preferably free. HAVE FUN!
Website begun 1997 / Revised November 1, 2020