I Think I'd Show Up to this Particular Writers Group and Be Immediately Thrown Out

Hi D######,

I am interested in joining your writers group. I am a novice writer but I have a lot of good ideas and, if possible, I would like the chance to work some of them out with your group. I have also been published online and would like your consideration for admittance to your group.

Here are some of my ideas:

-An informational essay on the relevance of 70's disco in modern politics.
-A short graphic novel about my fight against an angry group of Swiss Nazis who spent the better part of yesterday trying to run over squirrels with their lawn mower.
-A short story about when my brother Carlos tipped over a Port-a-Potty that I was using.
-A how to/inspirational story about my unsuccessful efforts to juggle dangerous objects.
-A short story about my winning hit in the company softball game.

I would like to come prepared with a few writing samples so let me know which one of these sounds best to you. I will get started as quickly as possible. Again, I am a novice so let me know if these ideas are worthwhile. What are the entrance fees? I did not see any information about meeting times list on the writers guild website so any info would be much appreciated. I live in Lake St. Louis so your club is not far from me.

Let me know.


Brad Fith


On Wednesday, June 15, 2011 12:46 AM, D##### Wrote:

Hi Brad,

Where to start?

How about your comment about being a novice?While none of our current members are nuns or ex-nuns, we all began as novices. With that in mind, our group welcomes writers of all levels.
No writing samples are required.
We critique everything except poetry.
We meet at the Rendezvous Cafe on Main Street in O'Fallon on Tuesdays from 10 am. till noon.
Several of us stay for lunch afterwards to discuss writing and publishing, but not always.
Our next meeting will be next Tuesday.
No fee required to attend, but we do ask that our writers purchase a beverage or something from our hosts, who let us use their back room for free.
Generally, we ask that new members don't read on their first visit. This permits them to get a feel for what the group is like and learn how it operates.
Each week at the beginning of the session I or Lou (the co-founder) circulate a sign-up sheet.
Writers sign up with their name, title of their work, type (essay, short story, chapter of a novel, etc.) and number of pages (limit five double-spaced pages).
We then call on readers--one at a time--who pass out copies of their manuscripts so critique group members can follow along and write their comments on the manuscript. (about 10 copies)
After they finish reading, we go around the table and critique.
We've started to limit critiques to two minutes so no one monopolizes the discussion. We even have a timer and a bell, but don't use them much.
While being critiqued, writers are not to argue or defend what they wrote--unless they are asked a question.
We don't censor, but if you're reading something that might be gory or pornographic, just mention at the outset that your story has some language or settings some might find offensive. Most readers just skip offensive words.

What else?

Our goal is to be candid but kind.
We are serious about writing, but we don't take ourselves too seriously.
We sometimes get loud, but we haven't been kicked out yet.
We don't sugar-coat our critiques, but we aren't obnoxious either.
We give our suggestions in a positive manner--at least that's the plan.
If someone gets overly snarky we generally give them the stink eye.
We are a critique group and not a flea market, so please don't bring fleas or jewelry or other items to sell--except maybe for books you've published.
One of our members hates semicolons, especially in dialog; please refrain from using them if possible unless you want to incur her wrath.
Another member has an aversion to the overuse of adverbs and the word gingerly, so please use those sparingly.
One woman is great at catching double words; we call her our double-word cop.
Some of the guys are big on including lots of conflict in stories; they don't like mushy stuff.

One woman writes mushy stuff.

I'm sending a cc of this reply to Lou, the co-founder, so we both can welcome you when you visit. She might want to chime in on points I've missed.

Hope this covers all your questions and hope to see you next Tuesday.



P.S. We have a few humor writers in our group, so your topics below should go over well.


On Wednesday, June 15, 2011 1:44 PM, Brad Fith wrote:


Thank you for your time and consideration. It sounds like so much fun!!! If I can get off work at that time in the near future I will attend the discussion. Don't worry, aside from a brief period in the 80's that I spent peddling pornography all of my work is PG, I have nothing of value to sell (my brother Carlos has sold most of it on the Internet), I haven't used semicolons in years and I will drink enough to whiskey to kill a small village in Africa.

Thanks Again,

Brad Fith
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