Manchester Speculative Fiction

Meeting: 9th November


Thanks to everyone who attended last night’s meeting. A warm welcome to Ben Stroud who joined us last night. With eight people attending, we had six pieces of writing to discuss. Apologies received from Kate via email before the meeting: she’s still ‘looking forward to seeing everyone at the open mike’ by which I think she means either Re:Tale or the next Bad Language (both are well worth checking out).

Guy managed to zoom in during the meeting with some superb ninja biscuits (and kindly explained the various combat moves) . . .

So, we started a little after 7pm as we waited for people to arrive and finished at exactly 10pm. Not bad, but I think we could probably tighten up our feedback just a little. We only discussed six pieces. Please make sure you read all the pieces beforehand. I’d also recommend preparing a few notes as this should help consolidate your feedback. I really don’t want anyone to miss anything out, but it might be worthwhile speaking on just a few primary points rather than running through an entire list of feedback items. I know this is a tricky balance. I often get fired up reading the work we’re going to discuss and I end up writing far too much feedback!

Marking up a copy of each author’s story is a great idea. This might allow you to skip over some of the more basic areas of feedback, such as grammar or punctuation, focusing on the more complex areas. You can always hand your marked-up copy to the author afterwards, ensuring they’ve received all of your valuable feedback.

On this last point I just want to say that I find these marked-up copies extremely useful when it comes to editing my work, particularly when several weeks or even months have passed since the meeting where the piece of work was originally discussed. I recently decided to rewrite a story which had been discussed at a meeting several months ago. The two marked-up copies of the original story proved invaluable with my editing. The piece was sent out and subsequently accepted for publication.

Anyway, enough of my nagging and on with the evening’s feedback:

Next meeting: Wednesday 14th December