As the Writer's Round Table and number of submissions have grown, we've struggled with having enough time to both review and provide quality feedback during the meetings. To make room for growth and to increase our individual writing time, we've changed our meeting format: we now hold THREE breakout sessions.
Each meeting starts with a single, kick-off meeting to introduce new members, share good news, and go over the breakout session process; then we break into 3 tables for the actual critiques. One organizer sits at each table, and the organizers rotate every 4 to 6 months. This let's us get to know everybody, and to suggest additional resources to improve their writing. We use the extra time at each table to request feedback on how to improve, going forward.
If the workload is 'light' for a given meeting (e.g, only 3 submittrals), the members of the affected breakout session may be able to submit additional material, as time allows. If this happens, a one-time only notice allowing for upload of extra submittals will be posted on Thursday, right after the regular submittal deadline.
If too many extra submittals are received, some will be held for the next regular meetings provided the authors RSVP for that meeting.
PLEASE NOTE - This hasn't happened yet. We're exploring going to additional breakout sessions/meetings due to the recent growth spurt!
We held our first breakout sessions (two) on 10/17/12, with 10 submissions divided into two sessions. The initial breakout format worked fairly well, with each submittal getting about 15 minutes of face time and all reviewers having about twice the time to devote to their assigned critiques. Within a few months we moved to three breakout sessions, and have since had to limit adding any new members.
Critique assignments are normally posted on Thursday, the day after the submittal deadline, and will be based on the number of submittals and the RSVPs received.
Any suggestions to improve the meetings can be shared in the kickoff or wrapup portions of the meeting, or emailed to the organizers. As always, our motto is to assist, not assault. Watch for new pages in this section, with guidelines and links on how to provide the best possible feedback.