CRITIQUE MEETING GUIDELINES
The Algonquin Area Writer’s Group holds moderated critique sessions for writers to bring in their works-in-progress for constructive critique.
The monthly moderated critique sessions generally occur on the fourth Thursday of the month, however there are exceptions (such as around Thanksgiving). To see when the next meeting is, you can check out the calendar page.
On the critique night, two writers (scheduled in advance on a sign-up sheet) bring in works-in-progress to read aloud. They hand out copies before reading, and when they read, members of the group write notes on their copies. After reading, the group gets a few minutes to write down praise, critiques, suggestions, and constructive criticisms on the copy. After that, we share a short group discussion on the piece, and the members hand back the marked-up copies. It’s pretty simple and new members get the feel for it right away. We vary in ages and backgrounds and levels of skill, so pretty much anyone fits right in.
As mentioned, there are two slots assigned to each meeting: A long format, and a short format. All pieces must be 12pt. font, Times New Roman and double-spaced. The long piece must be 1,000-2,800 words in length. The short piece must be no more than 1,800 words in length. For poetry, you may submit one of the following for the short slot: One long poem (35-40 lines), two medium poems (15-25 lines a piece) or three short poems (under 15 lines each) at a time.
You must provide copies of your piece for the group (approx 12-15). Virginia Freyre can copy them for free, but you must email her your piece email@example.com or drop it off at the library no later than the day prior to the critique meeting (we recommend several days in advance – a notice to the readers is given the Monday of the meeting). If you fail to provide copies for the group, the next reader on the waiting list will take your turn. We will not interrupt critiques to make copies.
You may only sign up for one slot in an evening and one type of slot per every two meetings. (i.e. if you sign up for a March slot, you may not sign up for another slot again until May’s meeting.) However, you may sign up as an alternate if the scheduled reader fails to show or bring adequate copies.
In addition to the sign up sheet, there will be an alternate list in case the scheduled reader does not show or fails to provide copies. If you are scheduled as an alternate, be sure to have your copies ready. You may sign up as an alternate if you are scheduled for the following meeting.
Another way to get your work critiqued, especially helpful for pieces longer than 2,800 words and novels, is to submit a request for critique on the blog or during the meeting.
CREATIVITY CAFE GUIDELINES
The Algonquin Area Writer’s Group holds informal writing sessions where members can come and write – either work on a personal project or a writing prompt supplied by the organizers. Specific workshops on writing techniques or genres may also take place on these nights.
The Creativity Cafe generally occurs on the third Thursday of the month, however there are exceptions. To see when the next meeting is, you can check out the calendar page.
BLOG USAGE GUIDELINES
The AAWG blog does not accept posts from non-members. To become a member, all you have to do is show up for a critique meeting at the library. We will give you a sign up form and all the pertinent information. You must provide your email address, so the blog administrator can invite you on as a contributor.
You must create a profile with WordPress where you at least disclose your first name. This is to ensure that everyone who submits and critiques knows who is who. Nobody knows who “MasterBlaster327″ or “cinnamongirl” are, unless they can look at their profiles. Remember, there is a level of trust involved with sending people your work, so let’s all respect that by sharing a bit about ourselves!
How to create a WordPress User ID/Profile
You may create a post on any subject you feel may inspire or help the group, including information about literary events, book signings or writing retreats as well as a request for critique. To do a request for critique, the title of your post must be “Request for Critique,” the post itself must be a brief description of your piece and the length. Any takers will leave their name and email address in your comment box, so you may email them your piece on an individual basis. You may also ask the group any question(s) you feel relevant and RSVP to the off-site workshops.
We prefer the space not be used for idle chit-chat, jokes, memes or general book reviews (unless it is a book on the writing process), nor is it a forum for journaling. We encourage you create a personal blog for those purposes, and we would love to link up to it on our blogroll!
If you sign up and don’t show up to either critique meetings or workshops for three consecutive months (6 meetings), you will be deleted from our contributor list. We will, of course, send you a reminder email of your membership status before we click delete, so don’t worry.