- Category: About
- Published on Thursday, 07 July 2011 12:28
- Written by Sam Justice
- Hits: 3664
Guidelines for Critiques
The quick explaination:
Manuscript format appropriate to what you write
Submit digitally by contacting us
Show up on the 1st Tuesday of the month at Hyde Park Books, 6:30pm
Be respectful of the writing. Critique groups will be formed at random. You will read many different genres and themes. Please see below for potentially offensive themes and how to handle them (for both the writer and the reader).
Works submitted for critique is submitted electronically. Email your correctly formatted and saved document (see below for formatting guidelines) to Sam or Megan no later than the second Tuesday of the month. Submissions will be distributed the following Wednesday.
You will receive at least three weeks to read and comment on the pages given to you by other writers. Please do everything you can to be certain that you will be present for the next critique meeting that follows the one in which you are sharing your pages. If you can't be there, make other arrangements to get your critique to your writers, and to receive your critiques from your readers. The writers in your group value your input. They've taken the time out of their days to critique your pages; be sure to return the courtesy.
Make sure your pages are formatted correctly. We encourage proper and generally accepted manuscript formatting. This means: double spaced, one inch margins with a footer at the bottom right of every page with your name, title of the work and a page number, paragraphs should be indicated with a single tab and never with an extra line space, denote white space with three * centered in the page with a space separating each, font size 12, times new roman. Do not insert page numbers manually, let the word processor do the work for you; this ensures that the reader will have accurate pagination. Files should be saved as a .doc, .odt, or .pdf. Files submitted for critique with other extensions will be rejected with a request to resubmit the file in an acceptable file type.
It really can't be said too much: double space your pages. Pages that are not double spaced are very difficult if not impossible to comment on!
Please provide a short synopsis when working with a shorter section of a longer work, such as a novel, novella or memoir. This helps the reader stay with the work and understand it to provide you with a critique.
Provide specific feedback. Saying "I don't like this," doesn't tell a writer much. Tell the writer why you don't like it. Even better, give some suggestions as to what the writer could do to change it so you do like it.
Be aware that writers are creative people, and that you may not agree with the things they say, do, or write. Remember that, almost certainly, no one intends to be offensive. Keep your critique a critique. Mentioning that you would not choose to read something with a specific theme is acceptable. Launching into a discussion of why you object to the specific theme is not.
If you receive something that you find objectionable, or find something personally objectionable within the pages you are reading, first take a deep breath. Remember that this was not written to personally offend you; it was written to convey thoughts, ideas, and a story. If you find it truly offensive, skip the section, and continue reading. Mention why you found the words on the page offensive - any critique is helpful to the writer.
Just because you, and many people you know, do not find specific subject matter to be offensive does not mean that someone else won't find it objectionable. If you are submitting something for critique that could be considered controversial, warn your fellow writers. You'll get much more and go much further if you warn your readers first. If your pages are generally "clean," but there is a section that could be personally objectionable to a reader, give them a warning of some sort of where the section starts and stops.