Wednesday, 16 of January 2019

Our standard meeting format

Our meetings come in several different forms, but the most common involves manuscript readings in the first half, followed by a second half involving critique of works which were submitted in advance.

First half of the meeting: manuscript readings

During the first hour, writers can bring along their writing on the night to be read out to the group for instant feedback.

  • These works should be no more than two thousand words long (1500 is better!). Please do a word count before the meeting – we need to know how long it’ll take to read!
  • You don’t have to read it out yourself, or even reveal your identity, if you don’t wish to – if you bring along a clearly-printed copy of your work, we can arrange for someone else to read it out on your behalf.
  • You can bring along more than one piece to read out if you wish, but we will generally only allow someone to read a second piece if everyone else has already had a chance to read.
  • If you’re presenting a short poem, we often ask for it to be read out twice to let it properly sink in.

Second half of the meeting: critique of works submitted in advance

After a brief break, the second part of the meeting usually features in-depth critique of pieces of writing that members have submitted and read in advance of the meeting. This is done without revealing the identity of the authors: we have found that the convention of anonymity makes for more productive discussions (even though in some cases many people can guess who’s written what! You don’t have to go out of your way to hide your identity). At the end of each session, the writers will be given the option to identify themselves if they so wish.

First come, first served

  • Writers can submit their works for critique at any time; they will generally be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Up to four manuscripts will be published in the password-protected members’-only section of our website for the group to read about a week before the meeting, and the group will be emailed links to download them.
  • If you can’t attend the meeting where your manuscript is due to be discussed, please let us know in advance so that we can reschedule, or possibly make arrangements for someone else to take notes of the critique for you.

Word limits and multiple submission