Denver Story Collective is an intentionally small, bi-weekly critique group that strives to create actual, useful feedback. We focus on helping members develop their craft and voice with focused, in-person critique.
It is not a place to circle-jerk with other artists, or pontificate about your experience. No one gives a shit where you’ve been published, how many Twitter followers you have, or how long you’ve been writing. All we care about is how good your story is - and how good it could be.
We welcome new members eagerly but limit each Meetup to 10 people so critique remains focused and personal. To get in on the next critique, follow these simple steps:
1.) Join the group / provide a writing sample.
Once you join I’ll send you a message asking for a writing sample. A small group of our core members will read it to ensure you’re a good fit for our current critique group.
2.) RSVP to a Meetup.
That way we know you’re coming. If you RSVP and don’t come, we’ll be mad at you for a bit, but will give you a second chance. If you do it a lot, you’ll be removed from the group :/
Try to shoot for 2-5 pages. Try to do it at least 3 days before the Meetup so we have time to read it. If your story can’t be “uploaded” (If you’re an oral storyteller or game developer, you might not find this to be the best way to present your work) message me and we’ll find a way for you to get your work critiqued in a way that is meaningful to you.
4.) Download and read everyone else’s work.
This is the most important part. If something comes up and you can’t read them all, we’ll understand. If you consistently show little interest in anyone's work besides your own, you’ll be removed from the group :/
5.) Message me if you have any questions or concerns.
Despite the condescending tone of this About Us, we're all actually very nice people. If you're legitimately working hard on your craft, we're gonna understand the occasional missed upload or download. We're also very quick to respond to message and postings, so feel free to message me if you need technical help or are concerned your work doesn't fit our format. If you're taking it seriously, we're very flexible with the finer details.
In case you're still on the fence, here are some indications that this is NOT the right Meetup for you:
1.) You write infrequently at best, and rarely finish what you’ve started.
2.) You’re too shy/afraid to share your work with us.
3.) Furthermore, you have no current work to show us.
4.) You’re looking for time to write. We don’t write when we get together, we read and discuss our writing.
5.) You think that your work, being the product of your unique imagination and heart, should not be critiqued; and that those who find flaws in it are wrong because they don’t understand you.
6.) You’ve had a really great story in your head for 8 years set in a sprawling, Tolkien-esque universe, but so far all you’ve written is the part where the White Knight Slornard encounters his mortal enemy Hargrull the Dark Elf, and also you drew some sketches of what his armor looks like cause it might be a graphic novel instead.
7.) You think that your 30-day NaNoWriMo novel is a finished product, no editing required.
8.) If just writing is enough for you - you don’t want to see it viewed by a larger audience. There’s no shame in that, that’s just not what we’re here for.
9.) You’re looking for advice/lecture series on how to break into the publishing industry or how to write. Our meetups are not educational, they’re communal.
10.) You’re writing fan fiction. There's nothing we can do to help you.
11.) And finally:
“And what about those [writers' workshop] critiques, by the way? How valuable are they? Not very, in my experience, sorry. A lot of them are maddeningly vague. I love the feeling of Peter's story, someone may say. It had something... a sense of I don't know... there's a loving kind of you know... I can't exactly describe it....
It seems to occur to few of the attendees that if you have a feeling you just can't describe, you might just be, I don't know, kind of like, my sense of it is, maybe in the wrong fucking class.” ― Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft