Writers group guidelines: giving and receiving critique

Safety Harbor Writers & Poets – offering and receiving the best critique

Every month the Safety Harbor Writers and Poets meet to help one another improve our writing. There are usually 5-8 people who attend and it helps if you bring at least 5 copies of one project, such as a chapter, poem, essay, short story, script, or etc. Please format the project in 12-point (non-italicized) font and double space the lines so that writers may make comments directly on the paper. We won’t have time for all verbal comments after you read, so these copies are an important tool for you to check when you are ready to make changes.

Readers: Choose one project this evening.  Even if you’re only reading one chapter of a novel in progress, a quick summary of the story is fine, but try to avoid a lengthy backstory. Your writing will stand on its own.

When the group discusses your project’s strengths and areas that may have confused them or need improvement, please refrain from argument. Take a moment to listen before you decide whether or not the comments are helpful.

Listeners: Find at least two strong areas in the writer’s piece. Let him know where his words shine. If there are areas in need of improvement, let her know where those are and why they need more work.

Spelling, punctuation and grammar should not be discussed if you are able to note it on their work. Try to keep discussion around the content. Most importantly, please do not attempt to rewrite anyone else’s work.

If you’d like to join us, we usually meet once a month on the fourth Wednesday from 6:30 to about 9 p.m. at the Safety Harbor Art and Music Center.

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