How to Host Shut Up & Write Events Online

Have you had to pause your in-person Shut Up & Write events as you hunker down at home during the COVID-19 pandemic? 

No worries. You can move your event online by following our guide below:

  1. Use your favorite virtual conferencing software to schedule a recurring meeting. We recommend Google Hangouts or Zoom, which are both free to use. Zoom is free for the first 40 minutes, and Google Hangouts has no time limit for free meetings.
  2. Reach out to our Setup team at to have your event converted from in-person to online. Provide them with the link for your recurring meeting, as well as the days and times that you will be meeting, so they can help update your event with the correct details.
  3. Set a recurring reminder on your calendar or alarm clock for your new online Shut Up & Write events.
  4. Five to ten minutes ahead of the start time, use your meeting link to log into the online event you’re hosting.
  5. Welcome your writers with a friendly hello as they join you online!
  6. Begin your meeting at the scheduled starting time. If you have a lot of writers in your online event, don’t be afraid to MC! For example:
    • Let folks know to keep their initial check-ins brief so that you’ll have time to jump into writing together. 
    • Lead the check-in by calling on each person so that everyone isn’t trying to talk all at once.
    • Encourage everyone to mute and unmute their microphones as necessary to maintain a focused environment during the writing phase of your event.
  7. Set a timer for the hour (or however long you’ve planned) and let everyone know it’s time to Shut Up & Write!
  8. Have your online meeting open in a separate window from your writing, and minimize other tabs and windows so that you can actually concentrate on your own writing!
  9. When time’s up, guide everyone across the finish line.
    • Lead the concluding check-in by calling on each person so that everyone isn’t trying to talk all at once.
    • Remind your writers about your next meeting and let them know they’re welcome to join you again!
  10. Check out our Virtual Chapter and upcoming Monthly Challenge for more ways to stay inspired.

Expert estimates for how long we’ll have to practice social distancing are still in the works, but for now, they range from a few weeks to several months. In the meantime, we don’t want you to miss out on the community and accountability offered by your Shut Up & Write event. 

If you have any questions on how to move your event to an online format, please reach out to our team at and we’ll be glad to help.

We wish you safe and happy writing!

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