Stuff We Do
Critique sessions are the heart of our group. We meet twice a month to read each other's work and provide feedback.
The first meeting of the month takes place in venues in the Leeds area. The second meeting takes place on Zoom. Meetings are on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of the month.
We follow the Milford method of critique, which means we all read the submitted work in advance. At the session, we take turns and have a set time to offer our thoughts on the work. While receiving feedback, the author is not permitted to speak, because the feedback should be based on the writing alone. Once all the feedback has been completed, the author is then allowed to respond and answer any questions. We find this method is very effective for ensuring critique is effective and efficient.
Don't worry if you're not sure how to give feedback - that's something you can learn with us.
We enjoy meeting up for more informal gatherings, where we eat, drink and talk about writing and other subjects.
The two major events in our calendar are our Summer Party and our Christmas Party.
As well as that, we sometimes organise 'write-ins' at the local library. This means that we arrange a time and place, then arrive and sit down and write. When we've run out of time, we get up and go home (or to the pub). There may be a little chatting, but generally the idea is to... write.
Likewise, if there are local events such as literary festivals, open mic poetry etc, some of us will arrange to attend together.
Workshops and Writing Sessions
We occassionally run workshops and writing sessions.
These are run by our members, and workshops in the past have covered topics such as: how to get your short stories published, The Hero's Journey, techniques for writing poetry, and more.
Writing sessions usually involve one or more members bringing along some writing prompts and then setting 20 minute timers for people to write. Those who wish to, then share what they've written.
Once per year we organise a short story competition, which is open to members only. All members are invited to enter a short story or poem, and then all other members vote blind (they don't know who has written what) for their 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. The winners are announced at the Christmas Party and presented with certificates and trophies.
Most years, we publish a printed anthology of selected works by members. This includes poetry, short stories and extracts from longer works. All contributors receive two complementary printed copies, and can buy extra copies for friends and family.
We always enter the anthology into the National Association of Writers Groups' competition, and we usually come second or third. Perhaps this will be our year to win...
Please see message from Anthology Secretary Richard regarding the Anthology 2022:
We are a member of the National Association of Writers Groups and one benefit of that is that we are able to enter their competitions. Each year we put together an anthology, and it's now time to do that again. If you are an LWAP member and would like to contribute you can send your piece to LWAPanthology@protonmail.com. These will be made up into an always excellently put together book and everyone who participates will get a copy.
The most significant thing to be aware of if is that anything submitted must not have been published elsewhere, I would also suggest that if you are using an extract from something longer (eg a novel chapter) then it should be understandable as a standalone piece of writing. Otherwise there are not restrictions on form or word count, though for our purposes anything significantly longer than the other pieces would unbalance things, so something around the critique sessions 2000 word guideline is ideal.
There are also various individual categories that LWAP members are eligible to enter. Follow the link for the complete list (https://www.nawg.co.uk/members-competitions), it includes sci-fi, comedy, romance, open poetry, and participants can enter as many of these individual categories as they like. There are restrictions on word count (mostly 1500 words) and formatting (mostly double spaced) but nothing too onerous. Again, send any entries to LWAPanthology@protonmail.com.
The deadline for the competition is March 31st, but to allow time to put the book together we will need anthology submissions by the end of February. Entries for the individual categories can be sent to me up to March 30th.
Any questions do ask.