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Writer's Critique Group!!

  • Jul 23, 2014 · 6:45 PM
  • This location is shown only to members

First, IF you are RSVPing, and you have previously attended, please commit to reading the stories IN ADVANCE with a written critique or story notes.

This means, in advance, read and critique the stories. If you have any questions about this please feel free to contact me, but I think this is self-explanatory. If you cannot read the stories in advance, please consider to wait to RSVP to a meetup when you have time to do this work in advance.

If someone has already covered what you're going to say, or you've lost your notes for the meetup, simply say "Pass" and we move on to the next critique. Please do not try to critique a story you have not read in advance. This is unfair to the other writers and to yourself.

How do I find the stories? (FAQ)

Uploaded stories are available under the "More" link above in the dashboard, and then from there, scroll down to see "Files".

Whatever we don't finish in one meeting will carry over to the next critique meetup and priority will be given to the writers who haven't had a critique the month before. In other words, the "new" writers will get critiqued first, and then as time permits we will workshop the stories by writers who were previously critiqued. (When submitting a story or novel chapter please try to make 4K-5K words the upper range, and of course your story can be much shorter than this. Flash fiction is also encouraged.)

IF submitting PLEASE try to upload stories within the next 2 weeks so group members will have plenty of time to read them

(In theory, if you feel so compelled, you could submit longer than 5,000 words, but then members are only expected to read and print off the first 5,000 words and finish the entire work ONLY if they are so inclined. Please only do this if your story is close to 5,000 words, say 6K or 7K, otherwise try to divide it up into two separate parts) Shorter pieces are also welcome and it would be nice to sometimes review flash fiction.

We'll be using is the Milford method to critique stories.  Essentially we go around in a round robin, and everyone gives 2-3 minutes of feedback on the story being critiqued.  The writer being critiqued is QUIET until the end, and then responds, explains, or (hopefully!) thanks the critique group for their thoughts and opinions. ONCE the critique ends and the writer replies, hard copies with comments are distributed back to the writer all at the same time.

So essentially if we have 4 stories we'll be giving 30 minutes to each story and we move onto the next story.  If we get 5 stories, then we could go a bit longer and squeeze in a fifth, or table it for the next time. Hence, try to keep your comments to 2-3 minutes when giving feedback, unless we have fewer members than usual on a given night. So I hope 2-3 minutes doesn't sound Draconian, but at 10 writers, 3 minutes apiece and we're at 27 minutes before the writer even comments, and this assumes no interruptions/delays, like coffee refills, conversational banter and finding a parking spot.

The meetup is scheduled for 6:45 PM, but try to arrive a little bit earlier if possible so we can get settled first and order food/drink.

When you come to the meetup, please print out the submitted stories, add any critique notes on the copy, and then share with the writer AFTER everyone has given their critique and the writer has responded.  Here is a primer on Milford if you're unfamiliar with the method:

When giving your critique of the writer's work, try NOT ask the writer direct questions that will launch the writer into a monologue about their story.  You can pose questions that they can answer once it's their turn to respond. If you absolutely must ask the writer something, try to phrase it as a yes/no question that they could in theory answer quickly, so as not to interrupt your own critique, OR wait until the writer speaks at the very end and then ask your questions. Thanks!

Meeting dues are $3 to help support Meetup costs that I pay in advance, payable via Paypal or in person at the meeting in cash.

Membership fee is $5 annually. You can attend once without paying the $5 membership fee to see if you like the group and then when you return for the second meeting the $5 is due for the calendar year.

Right now I'm running a SPECIAL since it's the beginning of a new year. If you pay $30 for the year, then you're set for the year and your dues and membership fee are covered until 2015, and save roughly $11 for the year if you attended every meeting. If you already attended our January meeting, then I am offering this to you for $27 if you've already paid for the January meeting. Contact me, and I will give you details about how to pay via Paypal, or cash in person.

Thanks for being a member, and I hope to meet MORE writers at the next meetup!

And if you haven't submitted a piece for critique yet, now is the time!

Join or login to comment.

  • Michael

    I was happy with our 100th birthday last night. Everyone seemed engaged, good critiques and the noise level of the venue was reasonable for a group of 10 writers.
    Also, I learned that a Tootsie Roll is both a sweetener and a chocolate creamer when added to coffee, and that educational insight will be invaluable for my writing career.

    1 · July 24, 2014

    • Vanessa

      Oh! I know! Instead of saying, "I'm done" we should just do the Tootsie Roll. How does that sound? haha. :-)

      1 · July 24, 2014

    • Laurie W.

      Tootsie roll is also a term for a kid's little floating present in the pool.... lol!

      1 · July 24, 2014

  • Judy C.

    Excellent observations by some very talented people, and a new participant with terrific writing skills. The venue has been improved and we could hear each other easily - great meeting, as always; great job, Michael, and thanks everyone for the awesome feedback! ')

    1 · July 24, 2014

  • Vanessa

    Hey guys, thanks so much for the feedback! It's always incredibly helpful. Welcome to the group, John!

    2 · July 24, 2014

  • Michael G.

    Another amazing meeting. Thanks so much for your incredible feedback! That was the last of my Elvamir story chapters that I wrote a couple years ago. Next month starts the new story I began writing after joining this group earlier this year ( based in the same world but hundreds of years earlier.) Hopefully it reflects all of the great things I've learned from you over the months. :-)

    2 · July 23, 2014

  • Laurie W.

    Great meeting, 100 or not. Welcome John, hope you're in for the long haul.

    2 · July 23, 2014

  • Michael G.

    Just a heads up to the group, I may be about an hour late tonight but I will be there. Apologies.

    July 23, 2014

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