Guidlines for Meeting and Critiquing

DuPage Writers Group

Critique Guidelines

For the Writer:

Provide a brief description of the story (an elevator speech, one or two sentences)

State whether it is a novel, short story or other format

Advise the critique group if you are seeking a particular type of feedback

Listen and do not defend or justify the writing

Take each opinion in consideration and accept the ones you feel appropriate

Look for patterns and consensus in the critique

Don’t take comments personally

For the Critique:

Arrive with the mindset of trying to help the writer improve

Keep your comments brief and to the point

Start by stating something positive

Be specific. When offering a comment try and provide a suggestion

Take notes when listening and provide feedback in an organized manner

Use I statements such as “I found this to be confusing”

Things to look for are clarity issues, what does or doesn’t work, what can be improved

Consider style differences when commenting

Use the writers handout to note typos, grammar and spelling corrections

Be respectful and avoid statements that could offend

Author Neil Gaiman said: “When people tell you there’s something wrong with a story, they’re almost always right. When they tell you what it is that’s wrong and how it can be fixed, they’re almost always wrong.”

If you have any comments, suggestions for improvement of this material please email them to:

John P. Bagdonas –

March 7, 2015

Dupage Writers Group

Meeting Guidelines

1. At 7:00 pm the meeting begins and a Sign-in sheet is passed around and collected by facilitator. Print name, phone number and e-mail.

2. Brief Introductions are next. Give your name, where you are from, what type of writing you

do and what you are working on.

3. The critique section of the meeting begins at 7:10 pm and concludes at 8:30 pm. The 80 minutes will be divided up equally by the number of members that have critique pieces to read. Each reader should bring at least 6 copies to pass out to members. Half the allotted time will be used for reading and the other half for critiquing.

4. A time keeper will be designated and will call out on minute before the end of the reading and critiquing session respectively.

5. The facilitator will keep the meeting moving to enable everyone to get an effective critique session.

6. Everyone is asked to show courtesy and respect when providing constructive critiques.

7. After the critique session ends at 8:30 pm, a writing prompt is given and each writer given an opportunity to share it.

8. The remaining time is to be used for general communication and socializing.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s