Wednesday meeting: 8th February

Nine members braved the chilly Manchester weather to attend the group tonight. With only three pieces to critique, we breezed through the submissions. As a quick reminder to all you scribes, we have extended the deadline for the group anthology until the end of May. This anthology is a great opportunity to get a writing credit to your name, and we don’t have too many submissions from group members yet. If you’ve got an idea for a kick ass speculative fiction yarn set in Manchester, get scribbling! You can even submit it to the group first if you’re looking for a bit of encouragement.

Anyhoo. On with the crits!



Mike presented a piece called love and brooding. Lots of positive comments for the uniqueness of this piece. More details listed below:

  • Some comments that the older brother character could have been added sooner. Should we know about him sooner?
  • Lots of genuine interest in the uniqueness of this piece.
  • Is there a conflict between tasting information and father giving information? Are they two separate things or are they the same?
  • Some questions over whether they are fish or not. Are the fingers that are referenced actually fins?
  • Nice comments about the God-like facade of the father.
  • The relationship between Pax and Neera really shines through.
  • Comments on the mixology of emotions and the sense. Happiness with a salty taste… great stuff!
  • Very readable style. A potentially very cloudy piece is made super perspicuous and clear.



James presented a piece call ‘A day at the dog factory’.  Again, there was a warm reception for this bizarro piece. Some of the points raised include:

  • Some comments that this is a return to form.
  • Although it was dark, it was not over the top.
  • Nice comparisons with other supposedly ‘cultural institutions’ or traditions.
  • Praise, too, for the poignant treatment of the immigrants!
  • The dialogue seem natural? Some comments that the ‘speech’ the protag gives seems quite unnatural.
  • Do the protagonist’s motivations seem natural? Does it make sense for the protag to be a long time enthusiast of dog factories and for her to also hate the system? We seem to yo-yo between different views here.



Tom presented another chapter from his novel The Wayward Star. The group are all enjoying this rip-roaring space opera. Some comments on this particular chapter include:

  • Some comments that the refocus on Chen as a character is welcome.
  • Some great descriptions peppered throughout.
  • There is a good sense of imprisonment in this piece.
  • Some comments that the amount detail bogged the chapter down.
  • Is there a bit of repetition? She has so far befriended both of her alien captors?
  • Is the constant lack of effective communication slowing down the story?


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