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***UPDATE 04-18-2018***

I am zeroing in on a meeting place. I will know shortly. Two possible locations are the Barnes & Noblle book store on West Gray and N Shepherd, or a meeting place at 610 N and Yale St (in the Heights).

I also am looking at next Wednesday as the date of our first meeting. Then I may schedule another meeting in the following week. Eventually, we will go into an every-other week interval. So, tentatively, April 25, then May 2, May 16, May 30, etc.

As for the format of the meetings, we will try this out first. Instead of having the critiques be anonymous, we will have the authors be unknown to all. Every meeting we will present 5 writers and allow for 24 minutes for each writer. This will include a reading out loud of about 10 pages, all of which will be done by me and a couple of other volunteer readers. Afterward, members are free to voice their input on the work. I have outlined five questions that each member can use to frame their response/reaction.

1) Can you follow what is going on?

2) Do you get a good sense of who the characters are?

3) Did the author generate interest through tension or intrigue?

4) What emotions, if any, do you experience after reading this?

5) Any additional comments

In this format, authors don't have an opportunity to defend their works, they are merely there to listen and note the reactions. As this way allows for very honest feedback, it may be hard to take, but please note, this is ultimately the point. I may set up a chance for author rebuttal via anonymous written response on Dropbox, etc.

For the first meeting, those who wish to be presented please send me a private message. If more than five people RSVP, I will do a random drawing of names so that five will be selected. This is to ensure meetings don't go on for too long, or past the 2-hour duration.

The important thing is we are all passionate and serious about writing here. This is not about ego, it's about honesty.

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***UPDATE 04-11-2018***

I'm looking for a place to meet. Right now, I'm thinking 610 North at N Shepherd, just north of the Heights. Let me know if that is convenient for you or not. This will be primarily a central Houston group, Innerloop, downtown, midtown, Montrose, etc.

For now, we will read our works aloud at each session. You can bring copies for others to follow along, or you can upload a document to Dropbox for others to view on their tablet/phone. I will have Dropbox account info soon.

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This is a group for those who are passionate and dedicated in the art of writing and storytelling, and who are serious about getting published. This is a critique group whose focus is on storytelling, rather than grammar. We will focus on the things that make your story stand out and engaging - plot, characters, atmosphere, and so on. We will not dwell upon whether your spelling is correct, or have too many adverbs. The main thing is to create fiction that will entertain and captivate others, starting with other members of the group.

We seek to build you up as a writer, but not by giving you ready praise. Emphasis is on honesty. Be prepared to receive HONEST criticism, however hard that may be on your ego. If people say your work bores them, or is a chore to read, then accept that with the attitude of open-mindedness and how you can change their opinion, instead of defensiveness. No one is out to get you, but no one will coddle you either.

No need to try and impress anyone with your writing prowess, edginess, etc. Just be yourself, and let your writing be a natural, organic product of your creativity. A person's writing is at its best when it comes from a place near and dear to his or her heart.

Submissions should be formatted in 12-point Times New Roman font, double-spaced, with a maximum of 10 pages. Line numbering will be appreciated. For now, we will read our works aloud at each session. You can bring copies for others to follow along, or you can upload a document to Dropbox for others to view on their tablet/phone. I will have Dropbox account info soon.

This is tentative, but meetings will be on every other Wednesday, starting at 7:15 pm, and ending at 9:30 pm.

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