Our format is to read member work and published ("professional") work BEFORE each weekly meeting. The work will be uploaded to "More" and "Files" on this page or linked to in the comments for each specific meeting. (Uploaded files can be accessed by members by clicking here: http://www.meetup.com/Real-Writers/files/.) Members should come to the meeting already prepared to give their critique.
We take an academic approach to writing fiction and therefore the group is designed to be like a workshop you would take at a big university, where the instructor would take seriously the fundamentals of literary techniques and straightforward criticism about member writing in order to understand those techniques. The workshop is led by former Texas State University professor James (Jim) Bonaparte, MFA.
Our workshop style does require participants to be thick-skinned. Not all elements of the meetings are workshop-based and it is easy to imagine a 'safe' role as observer on a trial basis. So, come check out the group and risk nothing (psychologically speaking).