Guidelines

Mission Statement

All members of the 11th Floor Writers recognize and uphold the central principle that success for each of us equals success for all of us.

Purpose, meeting expectations, and submissions

  • Our purpose and goal are to read and critique members’ writing submissions.
  • We meet on the second Saturday of the month, 2:30-5:00. If the second Saturday is a long weekend, the meeting moves to the third Saturday.
  • All genres are welcome; revisions can be resubmitted.
  • The maximum number of members is ten.
  • Members are expected to submit work on a regular basis.
  • We acknowledge that circumstances may arise and members may need to take a leave of absence. If any member misses four or more meetings consecutively, they will be encouraged to withdraw from the group. The writer may request to rejoin the group at a later date.
  • We have a rotating chair. It is the chair’s responsibility to:
  • Send out an email on the first Saturday of the month reminding members that submissions are due.
  • Determine quorum (3 submissions and 3 attendees).
  • Chair the meeting: ensures that it starts on time and all submissions are critiqued within the allotted time; ensures that members follow the workshop critique guidelines and keeps the meeting focused.
  • Write a blog entry of 250 words or less for our website within one week of chairing the meeting (optional).
  • Members should let the chair know if they cannot attend a meeting. They have the option to provide feedback via email or at a future meeting. If unable to attend, they are under no obligation to provide feedback.
  • Submissions should be 20 pages or under and follow a standard format (double-spaced, pages numbered, 12 point Times New Roman font or a similar font) using Microsoft Word or Google Docs.
  • Members are expected to follow these guidelines, be honest in their critiques and be respectful at all times.
  • Members should recognize the different lived experiences and backgrounds of writers when providing critiques.
  • Critiques are meant to be constructive, and should be given in a way that enhances, supports, and improve the writer’s work.
  • Critiques should be given in a way that does not, intentionally or unintentionally, undermine, demean, or pass judgement on fellow writers, their subject matter and their work.
  • Members share resources and information related to writing throughout the month.
  • The application of these guidelines can be amended at any time with the consent of the group.

Workshop Guidelines

Reader

  • Expected to read and critique all submissions.
  • Provides a paper or email copy of their review to the author within the week after the meeting.
  • Begins with a positive statement and maintains a friendly tone when giving feedback.
  • Deals with the submission on all levels (plot, language, characterization, dialogue, structure, organization, etc.) or prioritizes comments to address the writer’s request to focus on specific matters (e.g., Does the pacing work?)
  • Offers suggestions for revisions or possible expansion.
  • Suggests constructive ways to improve a submission
  • Suggests constructive ways to direct specific concerns about the contents of any submission especially if the reader finds the content problematic or objectionable.
  • Balances positive and negative feedback.
  • Assumes the positive intention of the writer
  • Has a vested interest in helping members achieve their individual writing goals.

Author

  • Remains silent as submission is being workshopped.
  • Asks and answers questions after the critique is finished.

The Critique Process

  • The chair determines the order in which submissions are critiqued and keeps the group on task.
  • Review is in turn and without interruption from others unless the chair allows a general discussion of a particular point.
  • All members remain respectful and professional and respect others’ time.
Updated August 14, 2021

 

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