Most of our meetings are critique sessions, where members and guests give feedback on pieces of work.
Please note that due to the pandemic, all our meetings are currently taking place via Zoom.
How It Works
We follow the Milford method, which goes something like this:
Before the session
About two weeks before the session, attendees are invited to submit a piece of work via a link to Dropbox. Generally speaking, most pieces are submitted in the week running up to a critique session.
Attendees should take time to read all of the pieces of work and prepare written feedback.
Feedback may cover:
- Line Edits (grammar and punctuation)
- General feelings and reactions
- Character Development
Note that guests are not expected to provide detailed critique right away. All we ask is that you've at least read the pieces.
At the session
Members and guests take it in turns to give feedback on each piece, in an order designated by the moderator.
Each person is given a limited amount of time, usually about two minutes, though this varies depending on number of attendees.
While feedback is being given, discussion is not allowed. Everyone apart from the person giving feedback must stay silent - especially the author.
We encourage oral feedback to focus on more general things like plot, character, pacing etc, and not to list spelling and grammar errors. These can be noted on the pieces and passed to the author.
Once all the feedback is complete the author has a ‘right to reply’, again limited to about two minutes. If there is enough time, we also allow a period for open discussion of the piece.
Members make a strong effort to be constructive and positive with feedback, but it should be noted that the point of critique sessions is to improve the quality of work, so naturally weaknesses of a piece will be highlighted and suggestions made for improvement. If a guest feels that they may be easily demotivated or distressed by such feedback, it’s recommended to initially attend as a guest without submitting work.
If this sounds like something you'd like to try, contact us at email@example.com.
You can find out more about the method we follow here: http://cascadewriters.com/milford-style-workshopping/
Several times a year we run writing workshops. One of our members would volunteer to lead a workshop on a topic of their choosing. Some of the topics we have covered include idea generation, poetry, writing from prompts, etc.
Note we have suspended workshops due to the pandemic.
Anthology and Competitions
Every year, we run an internal competition and create an anthology with work from our members. The anthology is usually entered into the annual competition run by NAWG (National Association of Writers and Groups), which we have always been shortlisted for but not won - not yet.
Each year we organise a Christmas and a summer social, and we would occasionally arrange to meet in person and write.
It should come as no surprise that these are suspended during the course of the pandemic.