Ditto pretty much everything Meghan said. I've only been To meetings twice in the last year, and have been so trio tang to return because I felt the big chunk of time I spent at the meeting wasn't being used quite as effectively as it could have been.
I have a very hard time focusing on work read aloud, and an even harder time giving thoughtful, constructive feedback on something I've heard, once, immediately after it's been read.
I would love to have a system like the one Meghan is describing. Other writing groups I've been in have worked much the same way: you receive a story and have 1-2 weeks (or even just one day, but that's usually enough!) to read and critique it. So you can read it multiple times and really consider it. Plus, just like Meghan said, your readers aren't going to have you reading for them. They just get words on a page.
In my experience, google groups, google drive, and Dropbox work really well for sharing amongst writing groups, and for posting written comments.
Sent from my iPhone
On Sep 15, 2013, at 5:27 AM, Meghan <[address removed]> wrote:
Hi! I only came once, more than a year ago. I must admit that the issues mentioned in the original e-mail were major factors in my not returning. I know I'm not currently active, but I was hoping I could make a suggestion regarding everyone having time to read. Many years ago,I was a member of a writers' group in Georgia. It was much smaller, but I think the model would work because of the longer meeting times.
We met twice a month for an hour and a half, and each member had an assigned day to receive critiques. The thing that helped with time constraints was that the manuscripts were distributed to everyone at least a week in advance (hard copies, so I know I'm dating myself, but this would be even easier with e-mail). That ensured that everyone had time to read it before the meeting, make notes, etc. Reading out loud takes a lot of time and adds author bias to a very visual format, so having copies for the critics would also mean the writer would be able to hear how the readers interpreted things.
They also had time limits for each writer to make sure each person had a chance to get notes.
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