The Coffee House Writers Group is a wildly successful and popular critique group in the Portland area. With over 300 members, it regularly holds meetings where we writers can find support and camaraderie in the otherwise lonely pursuit of our craft.
The group operates a little differently than many critique groups - members are encouraged to bring a short piece of writing to read out loud at each meeting (although it's not mandatory). Critiques are done verbally, based on how well the writing stands up to being read out loud. We do this for two reasons - 1. a lot of things like flow and cadence are best picked up when a piece is read out loud; 2. this type of critique invites the participation of those with busy schedules who don't have time to prepare written critiques ahead of time or are already part of a written-critique-type of group.
Between meetings there is a very active Facebook group as well as a Facebook fan page. We also have community events, writing seminars, parties and readings in addition to critique meetings.
Things to expect:
A friendly group of supportive writers to hang out with on a regular basis
A safe supportive environment for new writers and veterans. We encourage all kinds of writing (although we do ask that you keep what you read out loud to a PG-13 rating since we do meet in public venues)
great feedback on your writing - the LA chapter has spawned several published writers and has attracted regular members who are published writers, writing teachers, editors and other professionals.
Things that you will not find here:
Judgement calls and bashing. Nope. We maintain a very supportive environment - we all have to start somewhere and even the best of writers got their beginnings some where....
Homework. We do not publish files to be reviewed before the meetings, nor do we insist that people prepare critiques before the meetings. If you are looking for a group that will line-edit your piece for you, this is probably not going to be your group. However, if you have not been able to join a group because you can't keep up with the reading, this is your group!
Drama. There's enough of that in our stories! Let's leave the drama on the pages.
If this sounds like a fun interesting group, feel free to join and come to one of our meetings!