Moosemeat is a writers’ group that meets every second Thursday in Toronto to discuss short stories, chapters from novels, or other creative prose written by members. There are normally six to ten people at a session. We have a format for critiquing, but basically it’s an informal discussion that tempers candour with sensitivity and gives authors a chance to see how others perceive their work and hear suggestions and critiques.
Our talents range from modest to published authors. This is good because you are with people whose writing is worse than yours, so you won’t feel outclassed, and better than yours, so you’ll benefit from their piercing insights and courageous examples. Most of us are out of school and workin’ folk. You must participate in the discussions and occasionally submit pieces to be critiqued. But no poetry!
What time do you meet?
We meet in the evenings (start time varies depending on location) and usually finish up between 8:30 and 9:00 PM. Sometimes we go for food and drink afterwards.
What do you critique?
We prefer short stories, grudgingly accept novel chapters that meet our word length maximums, and refuse poetry. Novel chapters should be infrequent contributions and contributors should act on suggestions before offering a second chapter for dissection.
What’s the format for critiquing?
We workshop two pieces that have been sent out and read ahead of time.
There are three parts to each critique:
- A round of general remarks where members take two to three minutes to say whether they liked the piece and offer their thoughts and suggestions. During this round, the author does not speak.
- A free-for-all. Members respond to each other’s remarks and a spirited, free-wheeling discussion kicks in. The author remains silent.
- The beleaguered author is given leave to break his or her silence and responds with tears of joy or snarls of rage.
No fees! (And no poetry!)
How do I find out about joining the herd?
Email Moose Stacey for directions and introductions… (to reduce spam we’ve obfuscated the address) stacey.moosemeat (@) gmail DOT com.