Central Phoenix Writing Workshop Pages

So ... you wanna be a writer... Whether you are, want to be, or just like to write, this is a good place to be. This meetup is here for you to share your work and, if you want, to get some feedback. You can get highly specific feedback (you missed a comma there) or just general feedback (liked the story, more show don't tell in the beginning.)

The idea is that we want to have a set of small weekly meetings where writers can share their works in a close knit environment to get feedback. We are working on that. Currently, we count heads, and then break everyone into smaller, manageable chunks.

The author specifies what type of feedback they are looking for, so if you are a new writer you might just ask for 'Hey ... am I on the right track.' If you are trying to get published, maybe we can help with character development or dialog. It's what you want to concentrate on.

We also just yak at these meetings. They are primarily for sharing of work and gaining feedback, but we also like to be a little social. We tend to have them at coffee houses or quiet places where we can grab a light bite to eat and something to keep our mouths from drying out.

Not all members will bring work to these meetings. Some come just to listen and provide feedback. Others come to learn from more seasoned writers.

The group is open to all, whether you are someone who just likes to write for their own enjoyment, or are working on that first novel, or have already been published.

I hope you can make it soon....

Feel free to check these online resources


We've had a rush of new members of late, and some answers to Frequently Asked Questions seem to be in order?

Do I have to attend all the meetings? No. We are 100% drop-in in that regard. We do ask that you RSVP if you're coming.

Can I attend more than one meeting a week? That depends. We added the Thursday night group hoping to reduce the size of the meetings. Our format breaks down at about 8 people. We have been drawing 20 or more! So new rule: Wednesday night OR Thursday night - but not both. The Sunday group has a different vibe, and is more of a workshop than a critique group. You could attend that event in addition to the Wednesday or Thursday group. In any case, RSVP. The Sunday group is held in a private house - so we insist that you RSVP for that event.

What do I need to bring? Wednesday and Thursday meet in a coffee shop - so shoes and shirts. We also suggest a pen or a pencil. If you plan on reading something, you should probably bring that too.

How long do the meetings last? We try to stay under 2 hours.

What kind of writing are you looking for? Any kind that you want feedback on from your peers, though, to be honest, we tend strongly towards fiction, and skew somewhat towards genre fiction, such as fantasy and SF. But we've heard everything from memoirs to screen-plays to master's thesis essays.

Do I have to bring something I've written? No. But if you do:

  • Less than 5000 words, preferably around 3000 words. If this means breaking it up into pieces, then break it up. We need to make sure everybody has time to read and discuss.
  • Be prepared to read the piece out loud.
  • You get better feedback if you bring copies for the group to mark up. At least six, preferably 10, but take a look at the RSVP list if you're tight on paper/ink/time.

    Why must I read this thing out loud? Because that's what we do - at least in the Wednesday and Thursday groups. If you have a poor reading voice, each group usually has a strong reader who will take this chore on for you. Reading aloud began as a concession to early members failing to bring extra copies, and has evolved into a cherished and functional tradition. Reading out loud will highlight how the piece flows, both in meter and rhythm, but also in holding an audience's attention. Besides, we all hate that horrible silence while you're nervously waiting for others to finish reading your work.
    The Sunday afternoon group has a completely different structure.

    Can I post my work on line? Yes. We encourage that.

    OK. How? Click "Files" on the left sidebar. Browse for your document. Upload. A couple of things:
    Do yourself a favor and mark it "Only members of this meet-up group" from "Who can see and download this file?" AND
    Use a format that everyone can read like PDF or, preferably, Rich Text Format (RTF).

    Do you meet every week? Same time, same place, every week - like network TV in the 70's. All three groups.

    What if I forget to RSVP? Can I come anyway? {AAARGH!} er - yes. At least for the coffee shop meet-ups. But you're killing us.

    What if I try to RSVP and the meeting is full? Can I come anyway? Why not? It doesn't stop anyone else. Seriously, we do not cap the coffee shop meetings. However, the Sunday group does have real space limitations, so when it's full - it's full.

    What if we'd like to form a smaller group?
    Then do it. Gather some contact info and agree on place/time. The organizers support this and will schedule the meeting on the site for you. The Wed group averages at least a dozen people on a slow night, which speaks well of our popularity, but limits our collective ability to go over your work comma splice by comma splice.

    Is this the same group that meets in the bookstore? No. We don't know why they adopted our name (though we are the CPW "Workshop" and they are the CPW "Group"). Perhaps as a form of flattery. The two groups are related only by coincidence.

Any other questions? E-mail me. I love to answer questions - as you might have deduced.


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About Central Phoenix Writing Workshop December 1, 2010 6:42 PM Geoff

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