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The North Side and Evanston Writer's Group Message Board Suggest Meetups › Should we meet more often? What sort of posting limit should we have, if any?

Should we meet more often? What sort of posting limit should we have, if any?

Mike
user 8896326
Chicago, IL
Post #: 22
What does everyone think about having meetings in Evanston once a week, with a posting limit of 12-15 double spaced pages, or similar? I have no preference in terms of how often we meet. But since there has been so much posted lately, I think we need some sort of posting limit. Maybe a more generous one.

So, what are everyone's thoughts?

If there is no consensus, we can decide this Sunday.
A former member
Post #: 3
I'd love to meeting weekly… but I just don't have enough material for that and won't be able to write a chapter a week. If we keep growing and get to where we have too many regular members to go through all the submissions (or people are regularly not being able to submit because we've had too many stories), then splitting into two different groups might make sense.

I hate double-spaced pages and page counts are kind of arbitrary without formating requirements (to save paper, I reformatted a 30 page submission into 15, shrinking the font down, getting rid of double spacing, etc.). I'd rather see a word count limit if we're going to go that route. 5000-6000 words seems reasonable to me. That's long enough that most chapters will fit, or at least fit in two submissions.
Mike
user 8896326
Chicago, IL
Post #: 23
I'd love to meeting weekly… but I just don't have enough material for that and won't be able to write a chapter a week. If we keep growing and get to where we have too many regular members to go through all the submissions (or people are regularly not being able to submit because we've had too many stories), then splitting into two different groups might make sense.

I hate double-spaced pages and page counts are kind of arbitrary without formating requirements (to save paper, I reformatted a 30 page submission into 15, shrinking the font down, getting rid of double spacing, etc.). I'd rather see a word count limit if we're going to go that route. 5000-6000 words seems reasonable to me. That's long enough that most chapters will fit, or at least fit in two submissions.

I'm agreeable to all that, except I don't want to split up the group. I will be there every week (or almost). Hopefully others can make it 3-4 times a month. But even if people can only make it once a month or so, it's great to see them.
A former member
Post #: 3
I doubt if I could make a meeting every Sunday. I certainly couldn't have a new chapter done every week, but that doesn't mean that I couldn't read and comment on other people's stuff even if I didn't submit anything. If the group decides to meet weekly, then I will probably skip some meetings and attend others, which I guess is not a problem.

I understand the concern about the volume of material to read (I tend to be a habitual offender) but it's the nature of the beast for me. I write 20 to 30 page chapters and it's difficult to get any meaningful feedback if I submit it in snippets. Yes, people can point out awkward passages or something small like that, but no one can assess the impact of a chapter when they see it in halves or thirds.

Maybe we can have informal sub-groups. The long-form people, like London and myself, could appear at two- or three-week intervals, while those interested in shorter pieces or more frequent face-time could meet every week. When the "long" meeting rolls around, the "short" folks could read or not as they choose.

Steve
A former member
Post #: 1
Steve's idea might be one good way to solve the issue. I would hate to see the group split in half, too. I just got here!
I think as far as the voluminous amount of reading goes, I don't mind it as long as it is posted far enough in advance - three days is okay, but maybe it would help if people had to post a day or two earlier than that. As far as limiting how many works are posted in a week, four or five feels like a good number for me (especially when posted earlier, though I know I have been bad about posting at the last minute). I think I would get overwhelmed with much more, though. The same goes for the "more meetings" solution - I would hate missing any, but if they were more than every two or three weeks, I would have to.
A former member
Post #: 1
What does everyone think about having meetings in Evanston once a week, with a posting limit of 12-15 double spaced pages, or similar? I have no preference in terms of how often we meet. But since there has been so much posted lately, I think we need some sort of posting limit. Maybe a more generous one.

So, what are everyone's thoughts?

If there is no consensus, we can decide this Sunday.

My thoughts:

Have we considered extending the time of our bi-weekly meetings, maybe starting at 2:30? (This may affect where we meet)

I think our imposed limit has to be an aggregate total, like one chapter (as large as it needs to be and 3 small pieces, or 2 chapters and 2 small pieces, something like that.

I'd like the group to remain one group and although I would intend to show up every week I know I would not, so every other week is best for me, a committment I can keep.

Supie


Mike
user 8896326
Chicago, IL
Post #: 24
The following are my interpretations and include my own vote. Please correct me if I'm wrong or am missing anything:

3 people are for keeping the group together and 2 are not. So, we will discuss this further at the meeting.

3 people support some sort of word limit, and 2 don't. So, we will discuss this further at the meeting.

It also seems that no one really wants to come once a week, so it becomes a question of whether or not we want to split the group, and is therefore nullified.

Supie suggested we meet earlier. We can talk about that at the meeting.

Louise wants people to try and post farther in advance, which seems like a good thing to strive for. As far as making that policy, we can talk about that at the meeting, as well.

Having an aggregate total makes sense, except that it's too hard to enforce. Also, I think it will make people unnecessarily tense and competitive, as people try to beat others to posting.

Mike
A former member
Post #: 4
I should clarify: I'm not for splitting the group up unless we get so many people routinely coming to meetings that it becomes unmanageable. Six people makes for a good critique group, while as a group heads towards ten or so, it would become harder to manage. But if we split into multiple groups, I'd be sad, because I wouldn't want to have to pick between any of our fantastic regular group.
A former member
Post #: 1
Sorry I was out of town and didn't get to answer this email until now - I love the idea of meeting once a week, but like most others I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be able to make all of the meetings. I do find that having a challenging deadline is good for my productivity though. I think Supie's idea of meeting earlier is good one.
In regard to double spacing - I thought the reason that was done was because it was typically the way a manuscript was layed out and for the purposes of having enough room to jot down notes between the lines - but I'd love to save on the paper. And I too usually decrease the paragraph formatting to at least 1.5 lines when printing out other people's work.
n.
David W.
user 9677030
Group Organizer
Chicago, IL
Post #: 16
Please see the results of the discussions here and at the May 16th meeting, in the upcoming meeting description.
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