Established in May 2010, we are a group of writers interested in science fiction, weird fiction, slipstream, horror and fantasy.
We meet twice a month at MadLab in Manchester’s Northern Quarter to discuss samples of each other’s work.
Our members write prose, that’s short stories, novels and sometimes flash fiction. We have around eight to ten attendees per meeting. We use DropBox for sharing our work a week in advance of each meeting and there’s a 4000 word limit per meeting. Longer stories or novel chapters are broken up and read over subsequent meetings. We use the Milford System as the basis for our discussions:
“The contributors read and annotate all the stories. When that’s done, everyone forms a circle, a story is picked at random, and the person to the writer’s right begins the critique. Following the circle in order, with a minimum of cross-talk or interruptions, each person emits his/her considered opinions of the story’s merits and/or demerits. The author is strictly required, by rigid law and custom, to make no outcries, no matter how he or she may squirm. When the circle is done and the last reader has vented his or her opinion, the silently suffering author is allowed an extended reply, which, it is hoped, will not exceed half an hour or so, and will avoid gratuitously personal ripostes. This harrowing process continues, with possible breaks for food, until all the stories are done, whereupon everyone tries to repair ruptured relationships in an orgy of drink and gossip.”