The Frederick Writers Salon is an open and safe space for all writers. We're here to encourage each other to keep writing.
We critique the writing---what works and what doesn’t work. We don’t critique the writer. The writer knows best, therefore, it’s always his/her decision whether or not to change something.
FWS members are expected to treat all other members with respect inside and outside of our meetings. You do not have to like everyone in the group, but you do have to respect all members in every communication form inside and outside of the meetings. Aggressive behavior of any sort will not be tolerated.
The golden rule: You must write!
We meet a few times a month at a café, writer's house, or community space in Frederick, Maryland.
We write in a variety of genres including: literary fiction, short fiction, science fiction, romance, young adult, creative nonfiction, etc. Reviewers are expected to review any piece even if it is not a genre they like with the only exception being pieces considered offensive. No one is expected to read pieces that they find racially, sexually, religiously, etc. offensive. Event Hosts/Organizers have the right to decide if a piece is too offensive for the group and have the ability to remove such pieces from the website. This should be a very rare exception, and in our history of a group to date, it has never been necessary to do this.
Writers whose works are chosen for critique are either designated during a previous meeting or on the discussion and comment boards, if needed. People who submit their work for an upcoming meeting and are approved by the event host automatically get a spot at that meeting. Generally, writers cannot submit two consecutive meetings. Event Hosts should not be submitting work for critique during their meetings to avoid conflict of interest issues.
Submissions are 5-20 pages depending on the meeting. Our maximum word count is 5000 words. If your piece is longer than that, draw a line at the 5000 word mark. Here's the rundown on how you should be formatting your work for submission:
2. One-inch margins
3. Twelve-point font (Times New Roman is standard)
4. Header: Title / Last Name
6. Save in *.rtf or *.pdf format.
7. All entrees should be saved under More/Files.
Writers can choose to partner with other group members for more extensive critiquing after the meeting. You may also see if anyone is willing to be a beta-reader for your work, but please bear in mind reciprocity may be expected.
PRIOR TO MEETING
The Event Host/Organizer will post the submissions one week in advance of the next meeting. We will each read and critique each person’s submission prior to meeting. Attendees must be prepared to go over each of the Event Host selected pieces. Come to the meetings ready to discuss each piece in detail. Please come prepared!
AT THE MEETING
We chat and equip ourselves with caffeine, submissions, and pens.
New writers to the group are introduced.
The rules of the workshop are reviewed for the benefit of new writers. Event Hosts/Organizers are expected to point out/guide reviewers/writers when a rule has been violated.
The Event Host/Organizer may decide to bring up topics, exercises, and articles. Writers may ask the Event Host if they can have some time for these alternative activities instead of a review. Further, the Event Host/Organizer can deliberately decide to cover a topic, exercise, or event.
Workshopping: Each person submitting their work will have twenty minutes to receive feedback from the group on their work and to answer any questions. We do a round-table discussion, sharing our critique of what works, what doesn’t, what confuses us, etc. The writer submitting must remain silent until the critique is over -- then they can clarify anything that comes up.
*Please read the Frederick Writers' Salon Critique Rules before coming to the meeting.
We end meetings by deciding who will be in charge of the next meeting and designating who will be reviewed next or what topics will be covered in the next meeting.
We will update each other on publishing news, share writing articles, book reviews, events, etc. on the Meetup discussion board. We will also buoy each other when we feel like we’re losing our writing selves/goals.
To keep the creative juices flowing, we may mix it up occasionally with some free-writing sessions, where we gather as a group to write based on various prompts.
In the unlikely event that you encounter problems with another member, please bring your issues to one of the organizers of the group. If someone is causing a strong enough disturbance that it affects other writers, such as bullying, harassing in any manner, threatening violence, etc., it is up to the organizers – by the majority of votes – whether a given person should be removed from the group. We have yet to make such a drastic decision, and we hope that it never becomes necessary to exercise this clause.
PDF version here.