WHO CAN ATTEND?
» Non-members and the public are welcome to observe the Wednesday night critique sessions.
HOW CAN I GET MY WORK READ?
» SAWG members seeking input on their writing should request to be put on the reading list, which is managed by Kenneth Bennight.
» Once on the reading list, it is recommended to bring material to critique sessions, since reading list order and attendance are taken into consideration. Even if you’re midway down the list, it is suggested to bring your work to be read.
» Each writer should bring copies of their work for the group to read. » The maximum length is 10 pages, double-spaced, in Courier 10 point or Times New Roman 12 point font.
» Attendance at each session varies, but 15 copies are usually sufficient.
HOW DOES THIS WORK?
» Before each piece is read, the author should provide a brief introduction, including the genre, non-fiction or fiction, memoir, short story, or novel excerpt.
» Another attendee will read the piece aloud. Writers should listen carefully to identify passages over which the reader stumbles. Those passages likely need attention.
» The group should listen and mark up copies as necessary.
After the reading, the person to the left of the reader begins with comments on the piece. The comments continue around the table in a clockwise rotation.
» Participants may pass on commenting.
Each person is limited to two minutes of critique. This ensures that at least three pieces of normal length are read each time.
» Comments should be constructive. The aim is to improve the writer’s work and craft. Include positive comments as well as those aimed at areas needing improvement.
» Authors must not interrupt a critique but may answer direct questions. At the end of the critique, the author may comment briefly, but do not feel the need to justify yourself.
» Those critiquing should not not repeat what others have said, unless offering new information or suggestions.
» Commentators should not cross-talk.
» Grammar, spelling, punctuation should be indicated on the paper copies and need not be addressed in the critique.
» Feedback is intended to assist the writer, but authors need not use any or all of the comments received. The best response is, “Thank you.” Go home, think it over, and decide whether it will make your writing stronger.