I think this has been a hectic month for many of our members, so here's a quick overview of where things stand with "Rough Draft"-
We've been in existance almost 2 months. We've had one organizational meeting, five regular meetings, and our group currently has 40 "members" on meetup. About 15 of our members have made it to at least one meeting- and most of you have made it out for two or more. Nearly all of you have shared at least one peice of writing for critique.
And after our August "last Thursday" and "4th Saturday" meetups, it definitely feels like things are going in the right direction- at least, in my humble opinion.
I am looking at a couple of changes for September's meetups. Now that interest from potential new members is slowing, we may begin changing up the formats for regular meetings. Specifically, I'm looking at dropping the "4th Saturday" meeting in favor of just meeting on the 2nd Saturday and last Thursday of each month. Right now, our group is about 50/50 when it comes to who prefers Saturday daytime meetups and who prefers Thursday evenings (we also have a few people who are open to attending either), so I think this will help keep us from spreading our Saturday group too thin. If repeat attendance picks up at some point, we can always look into reinstating a second monthly meeting for that day of the week.
Another change- since we'll only have one Thursday and one Saturday meeting per month, and since most people attend one or the other, I've decided to loosen up on the "3 RSVPs" rule. If you have something to present and you can get it on the calendar, let's put you on the schedule. Meetings that have more time leftover can be used for writing practice, and meetings that are booked solid will take the form of one longer critique session.
That means our *only* Saturday meetup will be the "2nd Saturday" meeting on Sept. 11, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. at java Jam. Cat and Rhiannon are scheduled for critique- work is due to [address removed] by Sept. 4 (also, drop me a note if you'd like to be added to that list).
Our September "last Thurday" meetup will be Sept. 30th. Diego and Sonya are scheduled to present. Work is due to [address removed] by Sept. 23 (and again, go ahead and drop me a note if you'd like to submit work before the meeting).
Oh- we have our first "volunteer organizer!" Sonya has volunteered to organize September's Thursday meetup. Her first task will be posting that meetup to our calendar- so look for that to go live sometime tomorrow.
A few other admin notes:
1) We will continue to enable "maybe" RSVPs for the forseeable future. If you are interested but not sure you can commit, please RSVP as a "maybe" instead of a "yes." That's why we give you the option! It seems silly, but it's actually very helpful to know who is definitely planning to be there, versus who is interested but not sure if they can make it. Likewise, feel free to use the "No" RSVP option if you would like to (for example, when you would normally plan to attend a meeting but something is going to prevent your attendance this time around). It's not required, but it does give the organizers a better sense of interest (versus attendance, only).
2) We've seen several poems this past week, and Aubrey has expressed interest in organizing Rough Draft's first-ever Poetry Slam! So if you write poetry, or you like poetry but don't normally write poetry, or if you just like to listen to other people read and perform their poetry... or if you just want to show some support for your fellow meetup members? This could be your chance! No date yet, but it will probably be later in the year, possibly Oct. or November...
3) I just felt like adding that I really love everyone's work so far. There's a lot of heart- and a lot of talent- in this group. I know that even when I don't have something available for critique, I walk away from every meeting feeling inspired... and I hope that goes for the rest of you, too.
That said- we are evolving, and there are a few things we are always on the lookout for:
* Assistant organizers. Ray and I are happy to do this, but we've already had some close calls as far as one of us being available to moderate the meetings. Even if it's just for one meeting/on a trial basis, we'd be happy to get more of you involeved in the admin aspect of our meetings. If you've been to at least two meetups, and you're interested in trying your hand at running a meetin, drop us a line.
* Feedback. Either via email (use the "contact us" link and all organizers will be cc:d) or via the rating and comment features on this site.
* New Members: We've got a great group going so far and we'd hate to screw it up when and if any of you move on to bigger and better things. So, feel free to bring a friend. Or help us out with some publicity. I'll be producing some flyers to post at our regular meetup locations- if you want copies, just let me know and I'll bring them to our next meeting.
If you have other ideas or suggestions, please post them to the "Ideas" area on our meetup site, so we can discuss them as a group. Otherwise- if all goes well, I'll see some of you on Sept. 11, and some of you on Sept. 30.
Rough Draft Writers' Meetuphttp://www.meetup.com/TacomaWriters
PS: If you haven't done so already, please send your email address to the organizers, via the "Contact Us" link. This is to ensure that, once you've attended your first meeting, that you get copies of any work submitted for critique. Otherwise, we can message you via the meetup site- but we have no way to forward stories (which are attached as seperate files).