I’ve spent the past two Wednesday evenings attending the DFW Writers’ Workshop. DFWWW is a critique and support organization for writers of any genre or skill level. Each Wednesday night they meet and hold critique sessions where writers read a 15 minute portion of their work and then take notes as the group delivers their opinions and their advice. The Workshop also hosts an annual writer’s conference where agents are made available for book pitches and many seminars and panel discussions are offered. The Workshop has been meeting since 1977 and its members have produced over 300 published books over the course of its history.
I was impressed with the level of critique going on in the sessions I attended. Everyone was very honest in their criticism and equally so in their praise. Even when the work presented was not stellar, the author was treated with respect and all criticism focused only on the work and, most importantly, what will make it better.
I have not read anything of mine yet, but I think that, if I bring something that is not in its 1st-draft-rough-draft stage, I’ll feel comfortable enough to do so. Which is a HUGE step for me and says a lot about the group’s welcoming atmosphere. I really think that participating in this group is going to make me a better writer. So it will be well worth the investment I made today by officially becoming a member.