There have been recent requests for SpecFicNZ to organise critique groups, so we’re putting out a call to members. Do you want to be part of a critique group? Here are some things to consider before you say yes.
How does a critique group work?
Your group will meet regularly (weekly or biweekly is good). Each week, you will critique one or two pieces of writing (usually around 20 pages each) submitted by group members.
What are the responsibilities of a critique group member?
Critique groups are not a place to sit back and observe. You must be willing and able to provide work for others to critique, and you must be willing to provide thoughtful, constructive feedback on other members’ work. You must attend all your group’s sessions, and engage fully with the process. It isn’t someplace to get feedback and then leave.
We will ask for you to designate a group coordinator. This person will be responsible for setting up any shared folders you decide to use (Dropox, Google drive, whatever), and will be the contact person between the group and SpecFicNZ.
What will SpecFicNZ do?
SpecFicNZ will collect information about what you write from those interested in joining a critique group. We’ll then group you using criteria like genre and audience. If we have lots of people interested, we will also try to group you with folks in your geographic area. It’s unlikely we’ll be physically meeting anytime soon, but we’d love for folks to have the option of doing so if they want to.
We will provide guidelines for critique groups, including how to provide constructive feedback, how to receive feedback, suggestions for how to share work, etc. The guidelines are just that—guidelines—your group won’t be required to follow them to the letter, and you may choose to operate in a different manner, but we hope that having a set of guidelines will encourage a discussion of expectations, and ensure that everyone in the group understands those expectations.
SpecFicNZ will also reassign members to different groups if one simply isn’t working for them. We know that much of the success of a group depends upon the interpersonal relationships, and that your initial match might not be right for you. So we’ll do our best to make sure the groups are as useful as possible.
I’m keen! What do I do?
Fill out a questionnaire, and we’ll start putting together groups.