4/23/2018 -- We are currently at capacity and unable to add additional members; but we'd be willing to make an exception for writers with notable writing experience or with industry connections. If you feel you meet these qualifications, please request membership and submit your qualifications and we'll do our best to respond promptly.
ARE YOU READY TO GET SERIOUS WITH YOUR WRITING?
If yes, then keep reading! If no, take a moment and ask yourself if you truly want to be a writer. If the answer is yes, then get serious NOW -- Carpe Diem!
Established in January of 2015, SPWG grew out of a desire to work with aspiring fiction writers who share the goal of getting published, and who were unable to find any other group or program that met those needs and interests.
SPWG is open to the majority of story formats, including flash fiction, short stories, novelettes, novellas, and novels.
We cover the following genres: science fiction, horror, fantasy (ie Swords & sorcery and other fantastical elements, not Fifty Shades of Perversion or bodice-ripping drama--though adult content is generally ok), and literary fiction (ie Works that offer commentary on larger social issues, political issues, or focus on the individual to explore some part of the human condition).
We are not a non-fiction, screen-writing, or general-interest writers’ group.
There is no cost for membership (ie zero fees), except for your time, of course! Plus, members will be allowed to post blog content on the SPWG's collaborative blog, which drives in traffic and helps to build an author's brand!
If you'd like a clearer picture of the thoughts and philosophies members of our group have on writing, feel free to visit our blog: Fiction Remedy (http://fictionremedy.com).
SPWG's Primary Mission: Help each other get published.
This will be accomplished by each member sharing their work and critiquing the work of others, by helping with the creative thinking process, and by encouraging each other to submit finished works. This is not your typical "critique group". Our format is designed to get the author what THEY WANT versus pitting an author against their peers (like so many other critique groups seem to do).
NOTE: WE DO NOT READ OUR WORK ALOUD TO ONE ANOTHER!!! :-)
SPWG’s members are encouraged to share helpful tips/tricks, tools and resources, networking and contacts with professionals in the field. To that end, SPWG will provide new members with a “Basic Writing Guidelines” document, containing general writing and editing tips submitted and approved by the group!
While SPWG hopes its members have a great deal of fun at meetings, this writers group is not intended for socializing. We are an active writers' group, and our main focus is on writing and getting published. If you join, be prepared to share what you are working on (again, not reading aloud), to take criticism (of the writing, not the writer), and also to give feedback (in a respectful and supportive manner).
SPWG is intended for active participants only! On average, our members commit roughly 5 hours a week towards group activities (eg workshops and critiquing). If you're thinking that this is quite a commitment, you're right! Writing in itself is a commitment, that is, if you wish to write well. There are a lot of people in this world who want to write (one such study even suggests the number being over 80%) and the mass majority either do not get started, or worse, they get started without the commitment necessary to write a good story (ie part-timers), resulting in them abandoning their dream before they even get started.
Besides a bit of luck, getting published often requires two things: Reading and Support.
As any established author will tell you, the best chance of getting published is to read, read, READ -- across genres and regardless of quality (the good, the bad, and the ugly). This is the best way to learn what works for you and want doesn't. One of the best places to do that is a critique group.
At SPWG, you will not only get to read a lot, but you will also get input every week from multiple authors (our numbers hover around 8-10 on average) -- some of which are professional editors, former English teachers, and all highly motivated to learn and share the art of writing. Most aspiring authors cannot afford this level of support, making the 5 hour commitment pale in comparison the value received in learning and free editing.
Workshops generally occur weekly and run 2 hours, weather permitting (it is Wisconsin, after all!). New members are expected to attend at least two workshops within the first month of joining, then be able to attend at least one workshop every month afterward. If a member has not participated in a workshop for a duration of one month, their membership will be revoked (unless adequate reasoning can be provided beforehand). Although, they are free to request reentry when they are able to commit to active participation. Continued absence/lack of participation will result in membership revocation.
SPWG operates on a tit-for-tat basis, in which members only receive critiques if they are able to provide critiques in return. Critiques are expected to be thorough and thoughtful, as well as documented for the author for future use. That said, we strive for balance between allowing authors to get their work submitted AND preventing overload for those giving critiques. In general, you should plan for roughly 3 hours (which ebbs and flows depending upon the content submitted) of time to critique the work of others. And you are absolutely free to self-govern the level of critique you provide, pulling back when necessary to accommodate tight schedules.
HOWEVER: You GET, what you GIVE! (and repeatedly submitting weak contributions may result in membership revocation)
SPWG members are required to maintain a free MeetUp account and be registered in the free SPWG MeetUp group. It is preferred members use Microsoft Word for submitting work, given the quality markup and change tracking abilities--although exceptions can be made if necessary. We also require members to use our free Google Drive for sharing work.
NOTE: SPWG has taken reasonable steps to protect your data (such as enabling security and backup). However, SPWG does not warrant against the loss or theft of any data stored in the Google drive or shared in the group.
SPWG strives for a safe, comfortable and welcoming atmosphere where critiques are welcome, but personal attacks are not. One time infractions may be forgiven, but repeat offenders will have their membership revoked.
SPWG is generally open to members of levels of experience and interests (outside of special circumstances, such as membership reaching capacity). Due to the nature of the material discussed and MeetUp.com policy, members must be 18 years of age or older.
SPWG reserves the right to deny membership to anyone for any reason.
In alignment with MeetUp.com's policies, this group will block and remove any member who is a convicted sex offender, is listed on a public registry for sex crimes, or has been found guilty of a violent crime (ie felony convictions).
Locations will be chosen either during the preceding meetings or through online voting. However, there will be a general bias towards venues located in Sun Prairie, WI. Coffee shops, given their status in the writing community, generally take precedence.