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Writer's Critique Group!

  • Jul 10, 2013 · 7:00 PM
  • This location is shown only to members

  • First, IF you are RSVPing, and you have previously attended, please commit to reading the stories IN ADVANCE with a written critique or story notes.

    This means, in advance, read and critique the stories. If you have any questions about this please feel free to contact me, but I think this is self-explanatory. If you cannot read the stories in advance, please consider to wait to RSVP to a meetup when you have time to do this work in advance.

    If someone has already covered what you're going to say, or you've lost your notes for the meetup, simply say "Pass" and we move on to the next critique. Please do not try to critique a story you have not read in advance. This is unfair to the other writers and to yourself.

    How do I find the stories? (FAQ)

    Uploaded stories are available under the "More" link above in the dashboard, and then from there, scroll down to see "Files".

    Whatever we don't finish in one meeting will carry over to the next critique meetup and priority will be given to the writers who haven't had a critique the month before. In other words, the "new" writers will get critiqued first, and then as time permits we will workshop the stories by writers who were previously critiqued. (When submitting a story or novel chapter please try to make 4K-5K words the upper range, and of course your story can be much shorter than this. Flash fiction is also encouraged.)

    IF submitting PLEASE try to upload stories within the next two weeks so group members will have plenty of time to read them. (Approximately 3 weeks from today.)

    (In theory, if you feel so compelled, you could submit longer than 5,000 words, but then members are only expected to read and print off the first 5,000 words and finish the entire work ONLY if they are so inclined. Please only do this if your story is close to 5,000 words, say 6K or 7K, otherwise try to divide it up into two separate parts)

    We'll be using is the Milford method to critique stories.  Essentially we go around in a round robin, and everyone gives 2-3 minutes of feedback on the story being critiqued.  The writer being critiqued is QUIET until the end, and then responds, explains, or (hopefully!) thanks the critique group for their thoughts and opinions. ONCE the critique ends and the writer replies, hard copies with comments are distributed back to the writer all at the same time.

    So essentially if we have 4 stories we'll be giving 30 minutes to each story and we move onto the next story.  If we get 5 stories, then we could go a bit longer and squeeze in a fifth, or table it for the next time. Hence, try to keep your comments to 2-3 minutes when giving feedback, unless we have fewer members than usual, or fewer stories to critique for the evening. So I hope 2-3 minutes doesn't sound Draconian, but at 10 writers, 3 minutes apiece and we're at 27 minutes before the writer even comments, and this assumes no interruptions/delays, like coffee refills, conversational banter and finding a parking spot.

    The meetup is scheduled for 7 PM, but try to arrive a little bit earlier if possible so we can get settled first.

    When you come to the meetup, please print out the submitted stories, add any critique notes on the copy, and then share with the writer AFTER everyone has given their critique and the writer has responded.  Here is a primer on Milford if you're unfamiliar with it:

    When giving your critique of the writer's work, try NOT ask the writer direct questions that will launch the writer into a monologue about their story.  You can pose questions that they can answer once it's their turn to respond. If you absolutely must ask the writer something, try to phrase it as a yes/no question that they could in theory answer quickly, so as not to interrupt your own critique, OR wait until the writer speaks at the very end and then ask your questions. Thanks!

    Dues are $3 to help support Meetup costs that I pay in advance, payable via Paypal or in person at the meeting, but Paypal is preferred since that makes it easier for me to keep track of, but I realize some people might not use Paypal.

    Thanks for being a member, and I hope to meet more writers at the next meetup!

    And if you haven't submitted a piece for critique yet, now is the time!

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  • Fanny

    Terrific and knowledgeable folks! The critiques are conducive to our growth as writers.

    July 10, 2013

    • Laurie W.

      Hi Fanny! Just want to say your story was intriguing and I think you should write it the way you first intended, the way you saw it and feel it, and don't start cutting or rearranging until you have the first draft done! If you still have a version of your original opening with the girl in it, would love for you to submit that as well, for I think that was a great concept! I finished my 1st draft 12/21/2012 and edited it myself to this point, to where I was sure of my story so others could help me perfect but not change the direction or voice.... It was lonely but it protects your vision. But do want you participating, so just don't let anyone change your mind... stay on your path and keep suggestions in the back of your mind : )

      July 11, 2013

    • Fanny

      Thank you Laurie!

      July 11, 2013

  • Judy C.

    I think the only way these meetings could ever be terrible is if we all showed up with horrible hangovers and did nothing but groan at each other for an hour. Once again, great meeting - I learned a lot and had a really nice time!

    1 · July 10, 2013

    • Laurie W.

      Judy! Dude! Was a sheer pleasure to have you read my chapters. So thrilled at your level of insight into them!! You made my year! <3 If you want to get together before next month and share the piece you mentioned let me know : ) [masked]

      Oh, and if we all showed up with hangovers, we'd probably have some good stories to tell! lol!

      July 11, 2013

  • Laurie W.

    I thought the meeting was a wonderful experience! It was my first, ever Critique Group and it was sensational! Filled with great insights, though simply sharing the stories was in itself sublime! Can't wait for the next one. What a great mix of styles to learn from!

    July 11, 2013

  • Fanny

    Can't wait to see everybody! Really weird stories this time around! Loving it :)

    July 9, 2013

  • ruel m.

    hey can i come and just come and spectate?

    July 4, 2013

    • Michael

      Hi Ruel, you can but you'd want to RSVP and there is also a $3. charge for the meeting. If you come, I'd recommend trying to at least read some of the stories so you can comment, but if you want to just come and see what goes on the first time, that would be OK too. I just think that for new members it might be boring to observe people giving critiques for stories they haven't read. Thanks!

      July 5, 2013

  • Greg S.

    I'm traveling for most of July, and I plan to finally attend in August.

    July 1, 2013

  • Laurie W.

    Hey Michael, is it preferable to format double-spaced for ease of notes, or single space to save paper? My first 2 chapters fall almost exactly at 5000 words, 11 pages single spaced...

    June 27, 2013

    • Michael

      Hi Laurie, I'd say double spaced is probably better. However, if you want to upload two files, you could do one double spaced and one single spaced for those who want to conserve paper. But I would tend to give people the option to read it double spaced since it's easier on the eyes. Thanks!

      June 27, 2013

    • Laurie W.

      OK! : )

      June 27, 2013

  • Michael

    Thanks Laurie, I hope you enjoy it!

    June 26, 2013

  • Laurie W.

    Looking forward to the experience!

    1 · June 21, 2013

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