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East Valley Writing Workshop Message Board › Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

A former member
Post #: 76
Below are a list of frequently asked questions I lifted from another writing group I manage. Most of them apply here as well.

We've had a rush of new members over the last 5 or 6 years, and some answers to Frequently Asked Questions seem to be in order?

Why are your logos so plain? Many of us, including myself have graphic art experience and education. We are perfectly capable of creating awesome fancy logos that other writing groups had. However, this is not a fancy logo meetup group. This is a writing group.

Do I have to attend all the meetings? No. We are 100% drop-in in that regard. We do ask that you RSVP if you're coming.

Can I attend more than one meeting a week? That depends. We often add new meetings, hoping to reduce the size of the existing ones. We ask that you try to remember to RSVP ahead of time, and choose to attend the one or two general weekly meetings that you like best.

What do I need to bring? Many of our groups meet in coffee shops and restaurants - so shoes and shirts. We also suggest a pen or a pencil. If you plan on reading something, you should probably bring that too.

How long do the meetings last? We try to stay under 2 hours for most meetings.

What kind of writing are you looking for? Any kind that you want feedback on from your peers, though, to be honest, we tend strongly towards fiction, and skew somewhat towards genre fiction, such as fantasy and SF. But we've heard everything from memoirs to screen-plays to master's thesis essays.

Do I have to bring something I've written? No. But if you do:


  • Less than 5000 words, preferably around 3000 words. If this means breaking it up into pieces, then break it up. We need to make sure everybody has time to read and discuss.
  • Be prepared to read the piece out loud.
  • You get better feedback if you bring copies for the group to mark up. At least six, preferably 10, but take a look at the RSVP list if you're tight on paper/ink/time.

    Why must I read this thing out loud? Because that's what we do - at least in our general groups. If you have a poor reading voice, each group usually has a strong reader who will take this chore on for you. Reading aloud began as a concession to early members failing to bring extra copies, and has evolved into a cherished and functional tradition. Reading out loud will highlight how the piece flows, both in meter and rhythm, but also in holding an audience's attention. Besides, we all hate that horrible silence while you're nervously waiting for others to finish reading your work.

    Some specialized meetings use different formats.

    Can I post my work on line? Yes. We encourage that.

    OK. How? Click "Files" on the left sidebar. Browse for your document. Upload. A couple of things:
    Do yourself a favor and mark it "Only members of this meet-up group" from "Who can see and download this file?" AND
    Use a format that everyone can read like PDF or, preferably, Rich Text Format (RTF).

    Do you meet every week? Same time, same place, every week - like network TV in the 70's.

    What if I forget to RSVP? Can I come anyway? {AAARGH!} er - yes. At least for the coffee shop meet-ups. But you're killing us.

    What if I try to RSVP and the meeting is full? Can I come anyway? Why not? It doesn't stop anyone else. Seriously, we do not cap the coffee shop meetings. However, some groups do have real space limitations and attendance caps, so when they're full - they're full.

    What if we'd like to form a smaller group?
    Then do it. Gather some contact info and agree on place/time. The organizers support this and will schedule the meeting on the site for you. The Wed group averages at least a dozen people on a slow night, which speaks well of our popularity, but limits our collective ability to go over your work comma splice by comma splice.


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