What’s a Meeting Like?

What to Bring

Each meeting of the Lewiston Writers’ Group is a “work session.” The purpose of our meetings is to read pieces we are currently working on and to receive input/feedback for use in revising and improving the piece. This is not a forum for simply having an audience to hear your work; rather, it’s a meeting where seeking input and ideas for improvement and revision is the purpose.

How the Meetings Run

We begin the meeting promptly at 5:00 pm, taking turns reading our work and giving/receiving feedback. The meetings end by 8:00 pm. It is ok to arrive late – but please enter quietly.

Since our meetings take place during the dinner hour, please feel free to bring something to munch on.

Readings

Please try to limit your reading time to 10-15 minutes. Some members time themselves reading their piece aloud at home the night before the meeting to make sure it’s within the suggested reading time. Since our group is large and most members read at each meeting, we have to be conscious of the time each piece takes, so we can fit everyone in. If your piece will take more than 10-15 minutes to read, let us know at the beginning of the meeting so we can adjust our time accordingly. If you have a piece that you must receive feedback on that evening in order to continue your writing project, please feel free to speak up and we’ll be happy to allow you to read first so we don’t run out of time before your piece is heard.

It is not required that you have something to read at every meeting. We all experience writer’s block from time to time, or perhaps you just haven’t finished the piece you’re currently working on. We encourage you to attend the meeting anyway – it’s important for the rest of the group to get your feedback on their work.

Feedback

Our group has evolved into a very “safe” environment for writers. We do not criticize group members’ work beyond useful, constructive criticism. We focus on positive encouragement, praise for work well done, and making sure even the most “beginning” writers feel comfortable sharing their work without fear of being criticized. We do encourage and want honest feedback, even if it’s negative. Please be conscious of the reader’s feelings when offering feedback, and remember the purpose of the meeting is for each member to receive help to improve as a writer.

Please be courteous of others who are reading/listening

If you arrive late for the meeting, please enter the room quietly and take your seat quickly, so as not to interrupt the person currently reading or distract members from listening to the reading. Please do not have conversation with those seated next to you during readings – no matter how quietly you whisper, it is distracting to those listening to the reader. Please do not distract listeners by passing around materials or creating other distractions while someone is reading. If you must leave the room during a reading, please do so as quietly as possible.

4 thoughts on “What’s a Meeting Like?”

  1. Hi,

    Regarding your meetings–does the writer make copies of their writing for others to critique at the meeting? Or do you only read your piece out loud and others comment?

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