How Our Meetings Work

Attendance at our meetings varies from five to fourteen writers, depending on the season. You don’t have to read at every meeting. Many of our members read only occasionally but attend to take part in the critiquing.

During the meetings, we sit in a circle where writers take turns reading prose or poetry to the group. Once a writer has finished reading, the other writers in the room take turns in offering comments, criticism, and suggestions for improvement. Please do not argue with what others say about your work. You are free to ignore criticism, although most of us find it very helpful in improving what we write.

If you don’t wish to comment on another person’s writing, you can simply say, “I pass” and we will move on to other members of the group.

Writers of prose fiction read once per meeting while poets read their work twice.

WORD/PAGE LIMITS

Fiction:
1,500 words approximately

Poetry:
no limit

READING ORDER

We operate on a first-come basis. If you wish to read, please arrive five or ten minutes before the meeting start-time of 7:00 p.m. This will ensure that your place on the list of readers is secured. If we run out of time before you have a chance to read, we will hold you over until the next meeting where you’ll be given priority.

FORMATTING YOUR WORK

Please provide written handouts of what you read to other members of the group. The handouts help the rest of us pay closer attention to what you’re reading, as well as make notes on the handouts. After you read, we will return the handouts to you. The size of the group varies from meeting to meeting. Ten handouts is a safe bet for most meetings.

For prose handouts, please leave space on the margins and between lines so that the rest of us can write comments on your handout and return them to you. Also, please use a minimum font size of 11 or 12 points so that we may easily read your handout.

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