Try to arrive by 6:45PM and we'll plan on starting at 7. Thanks! Depending on how many writers are attending, we will attempt to use the back room.
Please note: You don't need to submit a piece in order to attend. If you want to attend and not submit a piece, that's absolutely fine!
The usual stuff:
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 you read and critique the stories in advance. 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.
Please indicate that you have finished critiquing a story with some kind of physical indication or "I'm done". The next writer in the circle may be reluctant to go unless they are certain you have finished. Staring into space isn't going to be much of an indication that you're done.
Please try to have planned to say what you're going to say and not flip through pages looking for extra comments. When you get to the flipping through pages stage, you likely need to pass to the next person.
Try to keep your comments in the 2-3 minute time range. Rather than go over 3 minutes, feel free to leave the author with copious notes written in the margins of their story or at the end on a separate sheet.
How do I find the stories? (FAQ)
Please see the organizer or Mark Biddle for a way to read the stories. We use a shared link and email for this.
(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 a week in advance when possible 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.
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 $5 per meeting to help support Meetup costs that I pay in advance, payable via Paypal or in person at the meeting in cash.
Thanks for being a member, and I hope to meet new writers at the next meetup!
And if you haven't submitted a piece for critique yet, now is your time!