[You must read carefully the following group description if you consider joining.]
Because this group is called a seminar, it has a much tighter structure than your typical meetup group. (See below the Wikipedia entry for Seminar.)
We read privately and then discuss in a small group the very best short stories -- classics and contemporary ones -- as long as they are available online or in affordable book form.
We also read and discuss criticism, that is, commentaries on our selected stories and its author as well as essays on the short story as a distinctive literary genre. We meet in quiet coffee houses, libraries, private homes, and occasionally outdoors.
Admission to the group is on a trial basis. YES, you can be voted out. (Or most often the member will bail out on his/her own after not adhering to group procedures.) And NO, do not join if you are not committed to attending -- fully prepared -- at least one meeting every six weeks or so.
Membership is free. However, you are expected to be a paying customer at the businesses we patronize. Futhermore, you are expected to purchase within two months the following two anthologies: Gioia's THE ART OF THE SHORT STORY (2005) and Crane's 50 GREAT SHORT STORIES. ((Less than $20 all together through amazon.com.)) The stories that we read and discuss which are not included in those two texts will either be found online for free (we'll provide you with the URL) or they will be scanned and uploaded on this site for you to download. (Simply click on MORE/FILES on our Home page and you'll be able to view and print out the text of those stories.)
"Seminar is, generally, a form of academic instruction, either at an academic institution or offered by a commercial or professional organization. It has the function of bringing together small groups for recurring meetings, focusing each time on some particular subject, in which everyone present is requested to actively participate. This is often accomplished through an ongoing Socratic dialogue with a seminar leader or instructor, or through a more formal presentation of research. Normally, participants must not be beginners in the field under discussion (...). The idea behind the seminar system is to familiarize students more extensively with the methodology of their chosen subject and also to allow them to interact with examples of the practical problems that always occur during research work. It is essentially a place where assigned readings are discussed, questions can be raised and debates can be conducted. It is relatively informal, at least compared to the lecture system of academic instruction. (...) " ~~~wikipedia.org