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Writer's Critique Group! (in the New Year!)

  • Jan 1, 2014 · 6:30 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 6:30 PM, but try to arrive a little bit earlier if possible so we can get settled first and order food/drink.

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 the method:

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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  • Judy C.

    We were in a separate room and it was much quieter - well, that may also have had something to do with it being New Year's Day, lol! But the meeting was nicely conducted and everyone seemed to benefit from the intelligent, helpful comments and observations, as always!

    January 2, 2014

  • Laurie W.

    Good- I think it's great that members are starting to relax into the various stories and experience each uniquely instead of constantly challenging styles or formats that differ from their own. I think each story is as unique (even each story by the same author) as people themselves, with strengths and weaknesses (different to each perception) and to immerse ourselves in each story and let go of formulaic expectations is when we can truly see and experience all the story has to offer, and all the author hopes to convey. You have to be a good listener to be a good reader, and walking down a scenic road is an entirely different experience than speeding down it in a Mazzarrati : ) I do want to again apologize for not getting all the way through some of the stories this time, as I was working two jobs most of December, but I walk through the stories, so please post as soon as possible ! : )

    January 1, 2014

  • joyce w.

    This group is always the A-list.

    January 1, 2014

  • joyce w.

    did anyone else have trouble hearing at last meeting's location... what about the quieter place we visited time before last... already made suggestion to Michael... anybody second the fleeting thought???

    December 17, 2013

    • Michael

      Something else occurred to me. IN the past when we've met at members' houses as a way of having a private space, in at least one instance, some people could not attend because of the distance, so that's also a concern when we move the location too far away physically. Just a thought.

      December 17, 2013

    • Greg S.

      No worries on the meeting place or date. A few of us hoped to provide helpful suggestions, but we don't expect you to jump through flaming hoops to appease everyone. We made do with Stardust, and it'll work just fine again. I will state that my place isn't a great meeting option. I live in a small condo downtown. Parking for everyone would be troublesome and it's a bit of a hike from the parking garage to my place.

      December 19, 2013

  • C. R. S.

    I'm trying to find out whether I work the first of Jan.(believe or not, I may have to), but if I can attend, a question... which of the files are to be critiqued? All of them?

    December 19, 2013

    • Greg S.

      Hey, C.R. You would critique the files posted since December 4th, the date of the last meeting. At the time I'm writing this, there are two files posted for Jan 1, JANORLODOUBLES by Joyce and Beyond Cloud Nine by yours truly. There will be more posted prior to the next meeting, so be sure to check back periodically.

      December 19, 2013

  • Laurie W.

    yes, it was hard to hear, but previously when we were at the back table instead of in the middle it was not a problem, the first one there might have to choose a better spot or perhaps Michael could reserve the table? The couches only seat 6.... and at least for whoever's not on the couch that seemed awkward... maybe there's another choice with the best of both... perhaps everyone should scout out more locations to choose from.

    December 17, 2013

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