Staying Out of the Slush Pile: Critique Night for Cover Letters

Dear Writers Who Impact the World,

We had our cover letter workshop a few months ago.  We learned the difference between a good and bad cover letter.  We reviewed the proper format for the letter, from how many paragraphs it should be, what belongs in each one, etc...

So, to avoid a poor cover letter, which can be a free ticket and a fast track to the slush pile, let's have a critique forum for query letters.

Depending on how many query letters we get to critique, please also feel free to bring a selection of your work to swap with another willing member of the group, or even read aloud for critique, space and time permitting!  We've had some great success this year in doing critiques of each other's work, thanks in large part to the suggestion by one of our members, Mike.  Thanks, Mike! While our focus this time out of the gate is query letters, please know that we're not limited to that!  We're here to serve you, the members of the group.

Also, please don't be intimidated if you don't have a query letter or other work that you'd like critiqued, or if you don't have something to share.  We are a big tent, and welcome all writers, accomplished and aspiring, at whatever stage of the journey you happen to be.  You are welcome to come to network, to listen and learn, or to ask questions and get support.  No prerequisites or snobbery here!

You may notice that our location has changed to be a bit further to the south!  While we advertise as the Matawan writer's group, and will be meeting there again, I'm sure, for the moment we've relocated to be more convenient to I, your gentle organizer and creator!  I'm getting married soon and need to make it work for my schedule, so I hope that works for you, and thanks for understanding!

Just a couple of guidelines for our meetups:

Please support our gracious hosts, the Oakhurst Starbucks!  Starbucks in general has been very receptive to our meeetups and really great about allowing us to meet at their stores.  Please buy something from them, if you can!

Also, please note that we are meeting at the Oakhurst location in Route 35, NOT the Neptune location on Route 66.  (They are relatively close to each other and sometimes can get confused).  If you need directions, please feel free to call Starbucks at [masked], or email Sarah or myself through the Meetup site.

Last, and certainly not least, we hope that you are getting value out of being a member of this meetup group!  If you're not, for whatever reason, please let Sarah or myself know so we can make adjustments, if at all possible.  Right now we are offering the meetups for free, but if you ARE getting value, we ask that you donate a few dollars when you join us, to show appreciation for the work and contribution we put into the group.  Sarah and I pay to host these meetups, and we put a lot of our own effort and time into them to ensure they are successful!  This Meetup group has been around almost four years now, and Sarah and I have been hosting it together at least two years, I estimate.

The recommended donation is $5.  Thanks in advance for your donation!

While the actual Meetup is the evening of August 22nd, please feel free to chime in here on our Meetup page through the message boards, or on our Facebook page:

And, of course, your comments and feedback is always welcome.  We love to hear from you.

Hope to see you all there!


Your fearless leaders,

Brian and Sarah :)

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  • Brian K.

    A small group tonight but a great conversation! Like many of our meetups, a wide ranging conversation: our review of what makes an awesome cover letter led us into conversations about social media, advertising and marketing, how to share products and services without being pushy, how to sell oneself, and how to be a holistic, compassionate, authentic person without being pushy, obnoxious and un-cool.

    What I really love about this meetup group is, we all bring our own perspectives and opinions, but we can all learn something from each other and there are just some genuinely interesting, excellent people who are interested in making a difference for themselves, for others, and for sharing what they know and what they have learned. It's one of the reasons I'm really happy that the meetup is still happening after almost four years!

    August 22, 2012

  • Laurie S.

    Hey, I'm hoping to get there, but I know I will be in a meeting until at least 5:30 today, in Jersey City, so I know there's no possible way to be in Oakhurst by 7 even if I was sprung at 5:30 on the dot. It takes me 90 minutes just to get home. Will probably be more like 8, but I will try to show up. Miss seeing everyone!

    1 · August 22, 2012

    • Brian K.

      Thanks for the update, Laurie! :) I'm expecting a small group tonight, but Sarah and I will be there and it will be great to see you! Please feel free to email me during the day today, or call or text me later, if you need anything! :)

      August 22, 2012

  • Brian K.

    Here's my guarantee! If you come to our meetup, I will **personally** keep you out of the slush pile... Until the next Meetup! ;)

    1 · August 17, 2012

  • Sarah C.

    Can't wait to see everyone :)

    1 · August 17, 2012

  • Sarah C.

    Hey everyone, only one week left to RSVP for our August Meetup :)

    1 · August 14, 2012

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