I’ve been asked how I run my groups. I started to write up some commentary, but then I found these methods from a post titled “How to Build a Writing Group in Your Community” by Jane Friedman that describes my philosophy spot on.
Structure. In some groups writers read their material aloud, but I’ve found that e-mailing work in the days prior proves more productive. First of all, it gives readers time to think about the material before offering feedback, and second, it presents work in the same way it’ll be seen by editors and agents.
Feedback. Some groups elect to have writers sit silently while receiving feedback, but this may limit the constructive dialogue that can happen. The trick is for the writer not to become defensive, and for the readers to stay focused on what the writer is seeking to accomplish rather than what they would do differently themselves. If the dialogue remains honest, open, and patient, it will prove useful to the writer’s process.
For the first session, writers should bring something to read for the group to critique. All following sessions, writers will be expected to email their work to the group at least 3 days prior to our meeting if they wish to receive feedback.
I hope to see you there!