Manchester Speculative Fiction

Meeting: 11th June


Another busy meeting this month with eleven attendees. Just a quick reminder for potential visitors reading this post to get in touch before you attend to allow us to arrange access to DropBox. You should also familiarise yourself with our house rules. Saying that, it was very nice to meet Graham, who dropped into the meeting. I hope you understood a little of what was going on!

Apologies from Eric who wasn’t able to attend due to a cold. Hope you get better soon. Your submission, which has already been carried over one month, will be carried over again to next month’s meeting.

Before we look at the critiques just a couple of reminders about house rules . . .

We had a repeat submission this month — a piece submitted a second time after editing. That’s against our rules, but with all the confusion over me being away the month before last and the carried-over submissions from last month it was too late to do anything about it by the time that I noticed. Apologies from me for that. The reason for not allowing resubmissions? Well, we’re all here to improve our writing, not just to focus on the production of a single piece of work. No more repeat submissions please.

Formatting will be important when it comes to sending work out to potential markets so it makes sense to get started with submissions into the group DropBox. A lack of proper formatting can cause problems for other group members: incorrect page sizes can result in pages not printing out correctly, a lack of names or titles on pages can make it difficult to work out who wrote which piece. This month we saw RTF and DOCX submissions, non-A4 page layouts, as well as a lack of page numbers, names and titles on pages. Please note, as per our house rules:

1. All submissions should be submitted as a Microsoft Word DOC file.

2. Use an A4 page layout.

3. Double line spacing, reasonable margins (one inch by default).

4. Every page should include a page number, the title and your real name (not a pseudonym).

5. The filename should include your name and the title of your piece.

Graeme has a handy-dandy template on his website. Anyway, on with the critiques. With the four pieces carried over from last month and another three new submissions, we had seven in total to review:

That left two pieces from Damien and Eric to carry over to next month. Damien offered his apologies in advance that he won’t be able to attend next month’s meeting so he asked whether handwritten critiques could be handed over. A few of us ended up offering impromptu critiques on his submission — a short story called Hordes — at the pub after the meeting.

And a final mention for Graeme’s novel A Kill in the Morning which will be published with Bantam Press this month. Congratulations again! Well-deserved. It’s an excellent read!

Next month’s meeting: Wednesday 9th July