Welcome to the Tuesday edition of the Central Phoenix Writing Workshop!
Here's how we work.
Generally speaking, we spend the first half hour hanging out, getting situated and waiting for people to come in.
If you have work you'd like to share, find the friendly moderator let them know. In the interests of effective criticism, we ask that you bring 5 - 6 hard copies and no more than 3000 words. Having a hard copy enables us to make notes on the page and give more effective criticism. Anything over 3,000 words becomes hard to get through in the time we have. If you have any special requests or would like to be in a particular person's group, just let the moderator know.
We are open to all styles, genres, and forms of creative writing, including poems, short stories, excerpts from novels or longer works, flash fiction, prose poetry, genre fiction, letters, screenplays, stageplays, personal essays, articles, op-eds, blogs, travel writing, memoir, creative non-fiction, and experimental work.
If you don't have work, don't feel bad or worry about it. Some of us bring work every week. Some of us have never brought work. Building a writing practice takes time--assuming this is something you're even trying to do--and participating in an act of writing (even if it isn't writing itself) will help you move towards that goal.
Carly's is occasionally a little noisier than some of the groups, but what it lacks in hearing it makes up for with alcohol, coffee, food, and increasing the public visibility of writers. While Carly's has a great happy hour and a $10 sandwich/drink deal, you are under no obligation to purchase anything. (as sometimes it gets noisy and having something in front of you makes it easier to follow along and take notes, as we simply have problems finding time for longer works).
We encourage writers of all backgrounds and skill levels to attend. We are open to the public and free.
Once everyone has arrived (7:00), the moderator divides the group into sub-groups to manage and balance the amount of content. Each sub-group has it's own moderator, who's responsible for making sure everybody gets a fair and equal opportunity to give and receive constructive criticism, to keep time, and to make sure we maintain a safe, communal space.
Once everyone is settled, the moderator will have everyone introduce themselves, say a few words about how group runs, and then start group.
Group goes like this: the person passes out their work, they provide the necessary background and context to understand the work, and then they tell the table what kind of criticism they may or may not be looking for before they read their work aloud. (Reading aloud help you get better at reading aloud, but reading the work out loud proofs your work, and easily identifies places where the language or construction may not work.) Once the person has finished reading, the group will provide compassionate, constructive, and thoughtful feedback on the person's work.
Carly's tends to be a little more conversational than other groups (as we find that conversation produces the most insightful feedback).
If you think that you don't know how to give criticism, don't worry about it. Critique is a weird thing, but anything you have to say about a person's piece beyond "I liked it" or "it was good" is immensely helpful, and we're here to help you articulate it.
We take a short break at 8, and then usually finish around 9 or 9:30.
If there's anything you ever want to talk about regarding creative writing, publishing, or group, just let us know. We take the safety of these spaces very seriously, and if there are ever any incidents where you feel that is not the case, please pull the moderator aside after group and let them know.
If you have any questions, please send either one of the moderators an e-mail or post it here on the Meetup itself. Also, join the Facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/centralphoenixwritersworkshop/)!
Thanks much, and we look forward to seeing you soon!