This group is intended for those who are writing (or have completed writing) a novel, and are motivated to revise, polish, and edit it prior to submitting it to a publisher or self-publishing it. This is the perfect group for indie authors who have trouble finding or affording a professional editor, for new authors who need lots of objective feedback to identify structural problems in their work, and for established authors who want their work to be the best it can be before it gets that final editing pass from a pro.
Members will be expected to work hard on critiquing and editing other peoples' work in exchange for having the same done for their own. Meetings occur weekly, so this is a faster-paced group than most others in the area. If you're ready to "kill all your darlings," and help others make their work the best it can be, check us out!
Just come on over to the table and introduce yourself, to get started. We'll fill you in on how the group works, and you can see what we do, and decide if this is the right group for you. You don't need to bring anything to your first meeting. Once you've attended a meeting, we'll exchange emails so work for the next week can be emailed out to all the members. If you like, you can also bring pages with you to a meeting to be handed out and read at home for the next meeting.
The purpose and focus of the group is always to improve one’s writing and help others do the same. While some small talk is allowable and even helpful, we may have to rule this out at a future date if we have too many members and too much trouble getting through all the critiques in a timely manner. Other off-topic subjects should be avoided. Off topic subjects are those which do not relate directly to writing. Especially to be avoided are possibly contentious topics such as politics, religion and sex.
Any member at any time may declare that the conversation has veered off topic and request that focus be returned to the writing at hand.
Possibly contentious topics may be allowed if they relate directly to the writing at hand. However, authors should always be aware of this and accept a possible declaration to stop.
A member may choose to abstain from reading a piece about which they feel strongly, or even choose to be elsewhere during the group discussion of such a piece. However, this choice is limited to no more than two pieces in any given four week period.
The group as a whole may choose to overrule a declaration of off-topic or contentious writing or conversation. This may be done only by a unanimous vote of the members present, other than the one who first made the declaration.
It is always to be remembered that these critique sessions are meant to be upbeat, and involve positive criticism. Excessive negative remarks or personal attacks will cause a person to be asked to leave the group.
Please try to share the floor. Due to time issues, members are asked to hold their comments during a critique of their work unless you are asked a question for clarification. It isn't necessary to rebut absolutely everything another person says, or try to prove you know more than others on every single topic. We all have areas in which we are strong, and areas in which we are weak. Nobody will think you are stupid if you don't have the right answer to every single question that comes up. Try not to talk over others, so all can share and be heard. Authors may ask questions and give general comments after all critiques of their work are done.
Members may submit items for review each week unless we find that we are getting so much material submitted that members are having trouble finishing it all in time for the next meeting Please submit no more than ten pages at a time.
Members are asked to submit pieces no later than 6 p.m. Tuesday night, in order to give others time enough to read and comment. Items MAY be shared after this time, but critique may be delayed until the next meeting. Some of us are out of town a lot, and may not get your submission if it comes in later than Tuesday evening.
Meetings are scheduled at Panera Bread at Chippenham and Midlothian, 10:00 AM each Sunday.
Participants are required to RSVP on MeetUp, so that Linda may know if a meeting should be canceled.
Should a member be unable to attend a scheduled meeting, it is requested that they email Linda or the mailing list as soon as possible.
Meetup charges extra fees if the list grows to over 50 members, so if you've signed up here but not visited the group or the website for three months, you will be removed from the list. You can rejoin later if you wish to.
Members who attend but do not critique others’ work while still submitting their own may be asked to leave, if this happens three times, again without extenuating circumstances as determined by the membership at large.
Alterations and additions to these rules may be suggested by any member, but may only be approved by Linda.