Most of our meetings are critique sessions, where members and guests give feedback on pieces of work.
The critique sessions work like this:
About two weeks before the session, attendees are invited to submit a piece of work.
The Sunday before the session, the submitted pieces are distributed to the attendees.
Attendees should take this time to read all of the pieces of work and prepare feedback. Line edits about particular words, grammar and punctuation should be made note of in writing, if possible, and general thoughts also noted down.
At the session itself, members take it in turns to give feedback on each piece. While feedback is being given, discussion is not allowed – everyone else, especially the author, must stay silent. Once all the feedback is complete the author has a ‘right to reply’.
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.
You can find out more about the method we follow here: http://cascadewriters.com/milford-style-workshopping/