Writer's Groups: The Good and the Bad
Al Bogdan (author),
Daniel O'Riordan (author),
Deborah Millitello (author),
Ellen Denham (author),
Ferrett Steinmetz (author)
I'm afraid I didn't get much out of this panel. This was partly
because the panel was at 7:00 PM, just after I finished a large dinner and
was deep in a postprandial stupor, and partly because the panelists had
similar backgrounds and group experience, and thus didn't present many
Even so, there were some gems:
- The big takeaway: The concensus was that the ideal size for a
writer's group is 7-8 people.
- One member (I failed to note his name in my notes) had been involved
with both on-line nad face-to-face groups. He found on-line groups to
be better than nothing, and generally provide fast turn-around, but
found the face-to-face groups more useful overall.
- All of the face-to-face groups that were mentioned by the
panelists follow a Clarion/Millford model in which everyone brings a
piece to be critiqued and each piece is analyzed. They allow two to
four minutes per person to comment and the author is only allowed to
respond to direct questions. Everyone admitted that the rules are not
- One group is limited to 16, but usually only 10-12 folks are active.
They have six hour meetings, including an intermission and refreshment