I thought it might be a good idea to use this space to create a frequently asked questions page for new members who join.
1. What kind of writing does this group accept?
Everything! I've heard there are some groups that restrict certain forms of writing. This group has been open to all kinds. We've had essays, memoir, novels, poetry, magazine/blog articles, and songs. We also accepts all genres such as science fiction, memoir, non-fiction, dark humor, slice of life, screenplay, etc. We do not have any restrictions. The only thing to keep in mind is that while you can submit anything you wish, the members may or may not feel confident to critique it. If it is a genre that a writer is not familiar or comfortable with, they may pass. I say this both to help comfort those who are thinking I can't comment on a certain genre or style and also to warn those who want to write something as shocking as they can. You can always submit and there should always be at least one person who will comment but not everyone has to.
2. Are there any submission rules?
We try to keep our rules simple but there are a few. First for formatting we encourage using standard 12 pt font. We aren't specific on the style as long as it is readable. We would like Rich Text simply because they are the easiest for everyone to open and read. Our submission max is 5,000 words, or 3 poems (not to exceed 5,000). Spacing in either 1.5 or double is strongly encouraged. If your computer allows it we love names and page numbers.
3. How do submissions work?
At each meetup we pick three people. Two submissions, 1 back up. These three are volunteers. If you join the group and never submit anything that is fine. We do not force people to submit ever. If you volunteer and are one of the three you have a week to get your story up. You do that by going to the top bar where it says "home, members, sponsors, etc" there is one that says "more" under more is "files." Go to "files" and upload your file. Each person attending the meetup will print out your file and write comments for you and bring it to the meetup to discuss and hand to the writer. It is okay to email writers as well. Please do NOT post anything to files except submissions you have been approved for because it gets confusing if people post other things.
4. How do I review the works?
We do not have a particular review style. We find that it works best when people offer criticism through their strengths. One person may line edit well while another can offer brilliant content suggestions. By allowing them all the writer gets a more well rounded response. The group does not have to say all great things about a writers piece. We do encourage areas for improvement and the feedback can be very honest at times. However, I would never allow a person to be mean either. Comments can only be said if constructive. So you cannot say "You just suck at writing." That would not be allowed. What you could say is something like "I think this would be a little better if you had more description of the places so I could visualize it." or "I'm having a really hard time caring about this particular character maybe if you showed a different side or brought in an easier to relate to character the story would be easier to get wrapped into." There is no meanness but constructive feedback.
5. Is there any cost?
No. Currently we meet at the Enfield,CT Library which is free space for workshops. For prompts we meet at various locations. You could buy a drink or snack if you want to but it is not mandatory. For socials there may be a cost depending on the location but it will always be what you want to pay for or take part in and you will be informed. Also there are no fees for being a member but there are fees for me to run this site as a meetup organizer. I do not feel right charging people a fee and would like to keep the group free. However, if you'd like to offer a donation to help with the site fees, that would be greatly appreciated. Again it is completely up to you and what you wish to do. If you never donated that is okay, if you only donate a dollar here and there that is okay. So there is never a mandatory or hidden cost. If we meet somewhere like Starbucks, the option is up to you.
6. If I'm a new member, whats the best way to start?
Being a new member can sometimes be a bit intimidating. A lot of new members find attending a social first helps them a lot. A new member also might enjoy trying a prompts meeting first. However, new members are always welcome to the workshops. For your first workshop, you do not need to review or read the stories if you wish. A lot of new members come just to watch, listen, and get an understanding of what it is like. That is perfectly fine. Some like to do the reading in case they feel like taking part, but stay quiet until ready. That is fine. Some just dive right in. We want you to have fun and be comfortable so whatever your style is, is welcome. We encourage new members to all activities. There is never going to be a meetup that a new member could not attend. Everyone is welcome at all times.
7. Will the meetups ever be on different days?
Right now the workshops are sticking with their Thursdays. The reason for this is that Thursdays have seen a lot of attendance and seem to be good nights for a lot of members. Also with how the workshop works it is easiest to keep it on a set schedule. However, I know there are people who would like to be involved that cannot make that day, so here is what I offer. Prompt meetings and socials can definitely be on other days. I try to schedule socials all over the place to give more opportunity. Prompts right now work also on Thursdays but there can easily be multiple prompt days or the group could consider a switch if requested. Also if you'd really like a workshop, while Thursdays are successful for many there are still like a 100 other members. I only have the time and comfort level for running one, but you can use this site to create one of your own to reach out to the other members or ones who have more time. I would not mind letting you suggest another workshop day and time. The benefit to suggesting it on here over starting your own group of course is that it would be free and that you'd already have a pool of writers. So let me know if you're interested. Also reach out to members with similar interests who might want to be exchange partners. You can use the meetup comments, the discussion, or the facebook group.
8. I have a great social meetup idea or I heard of a writing event coming up, how can I share?
We'd love to have more events and ideas. Often if it is not on here it is because I haven't heard of it or thought of it, not because it is a problem. Therefore, if you have a suggest let me know. There is an area on the site for suggesting meetups if you want to just go ahead with it. Or you can give me the information and I will post it. New ideas and event information are always welcome! Please send them my way.
Hopefully this helps some people. If I get more common questions I will add them on. Keep asking questions! They are always appreciated!
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|About Northern Connecticut Writers Workshop||July 23, 2014 12:28 PM||anonymous|