Information Technology

Story Club for Writers

A monthly Zoom meet-up for writers to share their unpublished short stories, for critique, comment, help - or just to share.

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The Idea

Book Clubs are awesome, and a lot of us wish we had the time to delve into a novel and explore it with fellow readers. So why not create a Story Club?


Here's the idea:

  • Every month, members of the group will send me an unpublished short story and indicate whether they'd like a) comments b) critique c) serious help with it.

  • I'll choose one at random, remove the name of the author, and send out the PDF to members of the group. If relevant, I'll mention which anthology or special theme it was written for.

  • We'll meet up to discuss the story, and comment/critique/help as the writer requested. There will be no obligation to provide critique or editing services, people will just be encouraged to comment on the story to the degree they're comfortable with. "Comments" could mean discussing the theme, imagery, motifs, character development, setting -- or anything else notable about the story (just like English class, only with tea and cookies).

  • At the end of the session, we'll reveal the name of the author if they wish, or keep it anonymous.
     

 

Here's what I like about the idea:

  • short stories are easy to read, time-wise, so the commitment isn't huge.

  • as short story writers, we don't often get feedback when our stories are rejected. Many of us know how to write a decent short story, but all of us could use some help finding the spots that don't quite work. Other writers are the best resource for this.

  • These stories will be read and enjoyed -- the whole point of writing them in the first place.


 

Places to go with it:

  • this could become an interactive podcast, where podcast subscribers sign up to also receive the short story before listening to the next episode.

  • we could get the voiceover people in the group to read the story each month, and include it in the podcast (although that would make the story 'previously published', so we may not want to put the actual story out there. Sharing it via PDF among friends does not, I believe, constitute publishing it, so you could continue to shop it around.

  • we could devote a few minutes of each session to recommending a classic short story by a master of the craft, or to sharing news of publications, contests, conferences, etc.

Join Story Club

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