Why Join a Writers’ Group? Many creative people are just not suited to locking themselves away in a room for a year with only a computer and their thoughts for company. Others just don’t have the confidence or endurance to keep on writing in a vacuum. In a group, you will always have someone to encourage you when you start […]
GIVING FEEDBACK The Sandwich Analogy: Say something positive before something negative, then finish on the positive or how to make it better. Give the positives first and say what works for you. Give the negatives next, and say what doesn’t work for you, and lastly, how you think it could be made better. Take on the task of critiquing with a positive and helpful intention; read carefully, trying to understand the writer’s point of view and creative goal. Consider the basic issues of narrative structure, characterisation, evocative and atmospheric language, vivid setting and believable dialogue. Be honest in your feedback; the writer needs guidance, not niceties! RECEIVING FEEDBACK Be prepared to receive negative, as well as positive, feedback. Separate the personal from the product, and see feedback as a valuable opportunity to improve your writing. While receiving verbal feedback, try not to interrupt the speaker. Be ready to respond to negative feedback, after speaker has finished. Give your reasons for your opinion. Rewrite your work in accordance with the feedback received, and see if it is better. If not, stick to your guns! A sure sign that you can write is that you keep going after knockbacks.
Last Wednesday our group met for a celebratory lunch near beautiful Coogee Beach, to acknowledge the success of one of our writers. Congratulations, Garth, on your memoir being accepted for publication by Ginninderra Press. We are all striving towards publication, and are thrilled that one of us has reached that goal. Can’t wait for the book launch!
Tomorrow our Randwick Writers Group meets for the first time in 2015. This group, which I first convened in 2013, has achieved great results. We have one member accepted for publication, another who completed a YA novel in only 6 months. All of us have seen huge improvements in our writing. The trick is to meet fortnightly, with the regular deadlines keeping us on our toes – or rather, fingertips. We rotate meetings in each others’ homes, and submit up to 3000 words for feedback a few days ahead of each meeting. Of course we allow time for delicious snacks and the latest literary gossip! Currently the group is full with five active members. For updates on RWG watch this space 📚