Since the main part of Word Weavers is the critique, we do have a set of guidelines for what can be critiqued and how it is done.
The meat of Word Weavers is the critique. This is where our real growth as writers takes place. We have a format that keeps discussion tight, on track, and makes the most efficient use of our time. We break into groups of about six people. The person being critiqued will distribute six copies of his or her work. The member on the left of this person will read the piece out loud for the group and then the person on the right will begin the discussion. You’ll often hear us saying, “Right reads, left leads.” (We love alliteration.)
When You’re Critiquing:
We ask that when it is your turn to critique, you follow this basic formula called the sandwich critique method.
You share what you liked about the work, and then explain what could be improved on, then in closing you add a few more things you liked. Basically, you “sandwich” the things you dislike between the things you did like.
What you liked – Needs improvement – What you liked
This is a proven method of providing constructive information in a way that encourages. We are trying to support writers and give them healthy feedback in a way that helps them grow.
If your work is being critiqued:
Because we are a Christian group, we ask that your work not contain any erotica or gratuitous vulgar language.
Bring six copies of the work you want critiqued, making sure it is formatted as follows:
- 1500 words maximum
- Times New Roman 12 point font
- Double Spaced (we need room to make notes)
- Numbered lines (this makes it easier to refer to a particular sentence). If you’re unsure how to do that here are instructions for Microsoft Word. Your submission should look like this.
Here’s the toughest part. When your work is being read and critiqued, you may not speak, unless asked a direct question. Then, you may answer the question, nothing more. Your work needs to stand alone, with no explanation or defense from you. This “silent rule” also applies when other people in your group are being critiqued and you are not currently the one critiquing the work. This, more than any other rule, serves to keep information flowing and helpful.
We understand that this all seems very complicated and confusing but once you come to one of our sessions, you can see these guidelines really do help to make our critique sessions go faster and smoother. We thank you for your cooperation.