What we're about

We are a group dedicated to writing, finishing, and publishing a novel, memoir, or short story. We critique each others' work and serve as a support group for helping writers plot, organize, and publish their writing. Historically, we've met at the San Rafael and the Silver Lake Libraries. In 2020, we moved online to Zoom. The format goes like this: There is a presentation and discussion on the day's subject. After, we begin the critiques.

The submission format is as follows:

(1) submit up to 10 pages, double-spaced

(2) use 1" margins all around;

(3) use 12-point Times New Roman or Courier font

(4) save files in MS Word format. PDFs okay. (5) number the pages

(6) be sure that the book's title and your name are the header.

(7) give your file name this format: FirstnameLastname-TitleOfBook-Genre-DateOfCritique.docx

If you are in the middle of the story, please write a single-spaced introductory paragraph or two outlining major plot points so far and the theme of the work. Include short bios for two or three major characters.

Submissions are due at 11:59 p.m. on the Sunday before we meet. Email them to docs@lawriterscritiquegroup.com, and put "Submission" in the subject line. You will receive instructions on how to download submissions for your reading and critique.

We divide the critique time by the number of submissions so that all writers get equal time.

We finish up around 12 or 12:30pm.

Our policies

We’ve developed a system of checks and balances to ensure that all writers benefit from our group. Two main approaches are discussed with newcomers to ensure that everyone gets the most for their efforts.

First Absorb, Then Ask and Discuss

At our in-person meetings, we are organized by group. Each group occupies a table and takes turns giving feedback to the people who’ve submitted.

When your work is being critiqued, we ask that you absorb the information first… not explain it or answer a bunch of questions from the people giving you their feedback. Save your questions for when the feedback has stopped and it’s your turn to ask questions of the people who’ve provided you with feedback, or perhaps explain a part of the story that may not have been clear to them when they read your work initially.

Should any obligation prevent you from attending a meeting for which you’ve submitted work for critique, you can provide feedback to your fellow writers, and receive feedback, virtually. You would need to send the files to the group that weekend to either pasadenawriters@gmail.com or docs@lawriterscritiquegroup.com. See the Critique Reciprocity Rule below for clarification.

Timing is Everything

If a group is large, it is sometimes necessary to time each person’s critique so that all of the writers receive feedback during the library session. In this instance, group co-leaders or trusted regulars may be charged with this task. Usually a cell phone is used to time each critique.

Keep in mind that each person providing feedback deserves the respect of the group. Group members, as well as the person receiving the feedback, are encouraged to be quiet and allow that person the floor.

Critique Reciprocity Rule

Every person who submits a manuscript must critique the manuscripts in his/her group and submit them for distribution no later than the day following the meetup, Sunday, at 11:59 p.m. The other writers read yours; you have to read theirs. If you do not critique as assigned, note the following:
You will not be able to submit a manuscript for the next session for which you RSVP. For that session, you will be assigned the role of Reader and will have to critique the manuscripts in your group and submit them on time. This applies to 10-page and 30-page submissions only.If you do not submit critiques more than once, you will not be permitted to submit again for three months.If you have questions, contact us at docs@lawriterscritiquegroup.com. This applies to 10-page and 30-page submissions only.If a submitter of the ‘long-form manuscripts’ (such as first 100 pages or full manuscript) does not critique all of the manuscripts in his/ her group, that submitter will not be permitted to submit manuscripts in the future.

Be Respectful or Leave

This group comes together to help each other become better writers. Disruptive behavior that can steal focus from our primary goal–to help each other become better writers–is discouraged. Our members and co-organizers are volunteers; no one is paid to listen to complaints or to change rules because one person wants to be exempt from them. We come together with a positive goal in mind. We expect our members to treat each other with respect before, during, and after our meetings. We expect constructive critiques. This is not to say that uncomfortable issues cannot be discussed in our critique group meetings. Insights that help us become better writers are welcomed. However, disruptive and self-aggrandizing behavior are not welcome. Members who disrespect others will be asked to leave.

Upcoming events (4)

Exploring Evil Intent: What Motivates a Villain?

Online event

For this meeting, Bernard Kim and Gabi Lorino will present three possible explanations why antagonists are so antagonistic! By reviewing personality and behavioral traits of narcissists and misanthropists as well as exploring the rich topic of prejudice, they will share their own research and engage with participants about how antagonists, villains, and “bad guys” are created.

THIS IS NOT A WEBINAR. It’s a short presentation and discussion, followed by a critique of submissions that are due on July 25 (for 30-page submissions) and August 1 (for 10-page submissions).

This meeting will be conducted through Zoom. The meeting link will be posted on the Meetup page for the meeting after you have RSVPed.

To have your critiqued at the August 7 meeting, please submit your piece no later than:
-for 30-page critiques, on Sunday, July 25
-for 10-page critiques, on Sunday, August 1

To participate, please do the following:
1. Prepare your manuscript to conform to these submission guidelines: http://www.lawriterscritiquegroup.com/submission-guidelines/
2. Email your excerpt to: [masked]

If your submission does not start at the beginning of the story, please include a summary of the work up until the point where your excerpt begins. To put it another way, if your submission begins from the first page of the story, a summary is not necessary. This summary will not count toward the manuscript total.

If your work contains graphic scenes or language that may be deemed offensive, please mention that in the submission email so that we may warn readers.

Writing the Killer Crime Novel with Joe Ide & 10-page critique groups

(To have your 10-page work critiqued at the August 14 meeting, please submit your piece no later than Sunday, August 8 at 11:59 pm.)

Join us for a special guest class on writing crime fiction with L.A. local bestselling author Joe Ide.

Joe's course is not your ordinary talk about tips, tricks and secrets. Designed for aspiring writers who are serious about becoming a novelist, the class chronicles what Joe has learned on his rise from failed career after failed career, to a successful, critically acclaimed author.
Joe Ide grew up in South Central Los Angeles, where his favorite books were the Conan Doyle Sherlock Holmes stories. He went on to earn a graduate degree and had several careers -- including Hollywood screenwriter -- before writing his debut novel IQ. Inspired by his early experiences and his love of Sherlock Holmes, IQ went on to win the Anthony, Macavity and Shamus awards. His fifth and latest novel in the IQ series, SMOKE, published February 2021. Snoop Dogg has signed on to executive produce a forthcoming TV series based on IQ.

Join us for Joe's class. Stay for a critique of reader-submitted works.

This meeting will be conducted through Zoom. It will also be password-protected to guard against Zoom bombing and other mishaps. The meeting link, meeting code, and password will be sent out via email a few days before the meeting.

To participate, please do the following:

1. Prepare your manuscript to conform to these submission guidelines: http://www.lawriterscritiquegroup.com/submission-guidelines/

2. Email your excerpt to: [masked]

If your submission does not start at the beginning of the story, please include a summary of the work up until the point where your excerpt begins. To put it another way, if your submission begins from the first page of the story, a summary is not necessary. This summary will not count toward the manuscript total.

If your work contains graphic scenes or language that may be deemed offensive, please mention that in the submission email so that we may warn readers.

Supplemental 10-Page Critique Meetup - No Presentation

Online event

***Normally this supplemental meeting would take place on the 3rd Saturday of the month, but the host is unavailable that date.***

During this time of Covid-related restrictions, some of you may find yourself with more time on your hands. This may be the perfect chance for you to write a bit more than you normally would. Without the need to meet in person, you may also be able to attend meetings more often than you used to. Whatever your reason, please come join us for a third meetup of the month. Even if you don’t submit, feel free to participate as a reader or simply spend a few minutes catching up with fellow writers. The business of writing can be a lonely one, so stay motivated and energized by connecting with your peers.

While there will be no official presentation, we will allocate some time at the beginning of the meetup to catch up with each other. What are you working on? What struggles are you facing in your writing? What news or advice regarding the book industry would you like to share?

(This meetup for the third Saturday of the month is meant as a supplement to the main meetings held on the first and second Saturdays every month. We will be offering these third Saturday meetups on a trial basis. Continuation of this supplemental meetup will depend on participation and other circumstances.)

This meeting will be conducted through Zoom. It will also be password-protected to guard against Zoom bombing and other mishaps. The meeting link, meeting code, and password will be sent out via email a few days before the meeting.

To have your 10-page work critiqued at the July 24 meeting, please submit your piece no later than Sunday, July 18 at 11:59 pm.

To participate, please do the following:

1. Prepare your manuscript to conform to these submission guidelines: http://www.lawriterscritiquegroup.com/submission-guidelines/

2. Email your excerpt to: [masked]

If your submission does not start at the beginning of the story, please include a summary of the work up until the point where your excerpt begins. To put it another way, if your submission begins from the first page of the story, a summary is not necessary. This summary will not count toward the manuscript total.

If your work contains graphic scenes or language that may be deemed offensive, please mention that in the submission email so that we may warn readers.

100-page meetup (no presentation) on November 6, 2021

Online event

Our semiannual 100-page critique is a great opportunity for gathering feedback! If you are an ACTIVE member of the LA Writers Critique Group and you have submitted critiques within the past three months before the submission deadline, you may submit up to 100 pages for critique by September 19, 2021.

If you aren’t an active participant, there’s still time for you to be a reader or submitter at one of our upcoming meetings prior to the deadline of September 19, 2021.

There will be no presentation at this meeting, just critiques, since the works critiqued will be long. Be prepared to discuss all of the works that are assigned to your group, and put notes for the authors on the electronic files that you will submit as part of your critique. We have a template for the Workshop Critique Form that can help you provide feedback to your fellow writers; please use this link to access it:
https://drive.google.com/drive/u/1/folders/1Qf-wKhemNqLmw_9wLLkDaey9-cqvZuqX

For your critiques, please refer to our Manuscript Critique Guidelines here: http://www.lawriterscritiquegroup.com/critique-guidelines/

Our Critique Reciprocity Rule is important every week but especially when the works being critiqued are of a substantial length. Please refer to this web page for additional information: http://www.lawriterscritiquegroup.com/give-and-take-within-the-group/

To participate, send your submissions (that should be between 50 and 100 pages, no longer) to [masked] before midnight PST on on Sunday, September 19.
Manuscript submission instructions are here (please read them carefully):
http://www.lawriterscritiquegroup.com/submission-guidelines/

If your submission does not start at the beginning of the story, please include a summary of the work up until the point where your excerpt begins. To put it another way, if your submission begins from the first page of the story, a summary is not necessary. This summary will not count toward the manuscript total.

If your work contains graphic scenes or language that may be deemed offensive, please mention that in the submission email so that we may warn readers.

We will meet on Zoom at 10 a.m. PST. Check your email for future messages related to this meetup and the information and links you need to access it online. Please bring your enthusiasm for reading, writing, and learning new things!

Past events (263)

Supplemental 10-Page Critique Meetup - No Presentation

Online event

Photos (102)

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