Manchester Speculative Fiction

Meeting: 10th October


Great to see everyone again last night. We had a fully packed evening with seven people attending and six pieces of work being discussed.

Before we get started I’d like to discuss a few topics…


Please submit .DOC Word documents to DropBox. This month we had a mix of RTF, DOCX and DOT documents and whilst this isn’t a major problem it can sometimes cause difficulties for other members who might be opening files in non-Office applications.

Whilst we’re on the topic of formatting it might also be worthwhile looking at the formatting inside the document itself. Most editors out there are going to want to see something along the lines of Shunn formatting (though the preferred font seems to be Times New Roman nowadays rather than Courier). That’s double-line spacing, first line indents, 12-point font as well as the author’s name, title of the piece and the page number on every page. Group meetings present the perfect opportunity for members to test this out on each other.

It’s also useful to include the title of the piece and the author’s name in the DOC filename itself.


One of our members unfortunately had to remove their submission from DropBox and this was done at the last moment once most members had already invested time in reading the submission. As mentioned in the rules this is frowned upon. We understand that difficult situations can arise from time to time making it impossible for members to attend a meeting that they had planned to, but if this is the case please try to leave the piece of work in DropBox for the following meeting. If you still think you’re going to have problems with this then please try to inform other members as soon as possible.


The balance in the donations PayPal account is currently standing at £37.79. This is pretty good considering we started donating in March and since then we’ve had approximately 35 member attendances over six or seven meetings. This equates to a little over £1 per head per meeting. Some members have donated in advance, so this is likely to dip a little below £1 in the next few weeks, but it’s still great news as not all members can afford to donate and some members are instead placing cash donations in the box in the room.

Once the balance hits £50 I’m planning on making a donation to MadLab. You can donate here or by clicking the button over on the right hand side. Thanks to all members who have donated so far: both PayPal and with cash. You’re doing a great job!

Anyway, on with the critiques. With seven members attending and six pieces of work being discussed we had a fully packed meeting but we still managed to finish in a timely manner just after 9.30pm . . .

We popped around the corner as usual for some drinks and a chit-chat. Topics ranged from 3D printing to martial arts to literary agents and novels to pandas and a certain MMO (again). And then we huddled around to watch this . . .

Next meeting: Wednesday 14th November