All of us in Reading Writers aim to improve our creative writing skills. Therefore, half our meetings are devoted to critiquing each other’s work. The group’s constructive comments and ideas offer each of us an opportunity to improve our work by learning from fellow writers’ ideas and experience.
The guidelines are intended to help us make the most of manuscript evenings. These are not rigid rules and can be amended as we find necessary. They are:
- Work submitted for comment is limited to 1,500 words unless otherwise stated in the programme. This maximises the number of manuscripts that can be properly reviewed in the time available.
- We have to limit the numbers of manuscripts per evening. It’s first come, first served; but those who don’t get a chance to have their manuscript critiqued at one meeting should have priority for the next meeting.
- Try to email your manuscript in advance. The extra time gives more opportunities for assessment and comment. However, we can take paper copies at the meeting, too.
- Members should comment verbally in turn at the meeting. Those with nothing to add to earlier comments restrict themselves to passing their written notes to the author.
- Authors should refrain from responding to comments, during the critique and afterwards. You can respond in private later, if you want to.
- There is no compulsion to submit a manuscript, or comment on other members’ work.
- Members are encouraged to make informal arrangements with each other to exchange scripts for comments at any time.