Community Syllabus
The People’s Ink—Wednesdays


The People’s Ink—Wednesdays is a writer’s workshop that offers critique groups, discussion groups, free-writing groups, and focus groups.

This workshop is appropriate for writers of speculative fiction, science-fiction and fantasy, and genre fiction.

Guidelines for Participation

The People’s Ink is right for you if

  • You’re looking to join a diverse, respectful, and warm community of writers.
  • You’re looking for a writer’s workshop that emphasizes a close reading of critique submissions and discussion materials in advance to meetings.
  • You’re looking for critiques and discussions that are open and analytical, where everyone gets a say, and which are facilitated by experienced writers, as necessary.

Days and Times

The People’s Ink meets twice per week. Each meeting has a different focus.

  • Tuesday, 7:00-8:30pm, for contemporary fiction, realism, essay, memoir, and poetry

Tuesday’s Syllabus

  • Wednesday, 7:00-8:30pm, speculative fiction, science-fiction and fantasy, and genre fiction


Participants are expected to follow either a weekly or every-other-week attendance commitment.

If a participant must miss a meeting that they have signed up to attend, that participant should let administration know of their absence by emailing

Submission Guidelines

  • Submissions should: be a .doc, .docx, or .pdf, double-spaced, with 12-14 sized font, and page-numbered.
  • Submissions should be posted by the Sunday preceding the Wednesday meeting.

Workshop Structure

Community Groups


  • Community Prose Critique Groups—Critique based meeting for speculative fiction, science-fiction and fantasy, and genre fiction; 10,000 word submission length cap; critiques scheduled weeks or months in advance; facilitated; 5-8 participants per Community Critique Group; 1-3 Community Critique Groups scheduled for each Wednesday; for every 4 attendances in the Community Groups, that participant is welcome to submit their artwork for critique once in the Community Critique Groups
  • Community Discussion Group: Philosophy of Speculative Fiction—Discussion based meeting with topics pertaining to the philosophy of speculative fiction and related; syllabus provided for each discussion; facilitated; 5-10 participants per Community Discussion Group; 0-1 Community Discussion Groups scheduled for each Wednesday
  • Community Activity Group: Free Writing—Activity based meeting: write with others; open to drop-in attendance; no facilitator and no writing prompts; open to however many participants wish to attend; 1 Community Free Writing Group scheduled for each Wednesday

Focus Groups

Focus Groups are critique groups composed of participants who demonstrate a high level of dedication to their writing, who share a literary interest or intention (a "focus"), and who have agreed to meet together for 6 months or longer. New Focus Groups start once every 1-3 months. Inclusion is open to anyone who has 5 or more attendances in the Community Groups.

Additionally, Focus Groups share the following features:

  • Participants collectively determine the focus group’s structure including word count cap for submissions, whether to include literary discussions between critiques, and more.
  • Many (but not all) Focus Groups are closed, meaning that once the focus group begins, no new participants may join.
  • Focus Groups use a rotation based system of critiques, e.g., writer one submits on week one, writer two submits on week two, writer three submits on week three, etc., and once the rotation has been completed, it repeats.
  • Written feedback is encouraged but not mandatory. However, written feedback is mandatory whenever a participant misses a meeting. Feedback should take the form of a 1 page reflection. Line-by-line edits are welcome but not mandatory.


Our facilitators are chosen for their experience, education, and most importantly, their ability to effectively guide workshop discussions.

Select facilitator profiles:

  • Charlie F—Charlie’s facilitation style is active and hands on, regularly asking questions, requesting feedback, and actively making sure all voices are heard. In the past, Charlie has written short stories, thrillers, television scripts, magazine articles, and public relations materials. He currently writes young adult novels and a regular column about the Portland Timbers. His novel, A Punk Rock Love Song, can be purchased on amazon by going here. His Portland Timbers column can be read by clicking here. Charlie’s words: “I have been in the People's Ink longer than anyone except Rich. And maybe Tim. And Dave. But fine, whatever, I’ve been in the group a long time. So show some respect!” There’s Charlie for you! 😀
  • Gregory S—As a facilitator with a great deal of experience, Gregory creates an environment that is supportive and inclusive. Constructive criticism and author safety are elements in the feedback process that Gregory seeks to emphasize. First-timers are welcome. Gregory’s interested in edgy and provocative fiction and prose including speculative fiction, science fiction, and thrillers. His own writing is varied, ranging from a long novel in search of a publisher to short stories and published poetry, articles on social justice education, music reviews, art criticism, and political organizing.