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Speculative, Philosophical, and Experimental Writing Critique Group

January 14, 2021 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

As the title suggests, we’ll critique writing that is speculative (sci-fi, fantasy, horror, surrealism, slipstream, etc.), philosophical (idea-driven, writing with a message, etc.), and experimental (unusual language, visual/musical aspects, transgressive, etc.). All writing submitted for critique should fit at least one of these categories, and ideally, more than one.

Of course, the written works and authors that inspire us may vary, and widely. Nonetheless, here’s a list of some written works and authors that have inspired me, and which we might use as an (incomplete) list of the kind of writing that should be submitted to this critique group. Hopefully providing this will clarify the group’s focus.

One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez; Ice, Anna Kavan; Blade Runner, Philip K. Dick; The Waves, Virginia Woolf; The Street of Crocodiles, Bruno Shulz; Stories of Your Life, Ted Chiang; The Book of Disquiet, Fernando Pessoa; The Dreamquest of Unknown Kadath, H. P. Lovecraft; Don’t Bite The Sun, Tanith Lee; The Rings of Saturn, W. G. Sebald; The Three Body Problem, Liu Cixin; Moby Dick, Herman Melville; Kindred, Octavia E Butler; The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood; The Last Unicorn, Peter S. Beagle; Les Fleurs du Mal, Charles Baudelaire; Blindsight, Peter Watts; The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. Leguin; The Song of Maldoror, Comte de Lautremont; Solaris, Stanislaw Lem; Blood Meridian, Cormac McCarthy; Dune, Frank Herbert; Star Maker, Olaf Stapledon.

If you’re uncertain whether your writing or writerly intentions will make a good fit, feel free to reach out and ask.

Here’s an overview of the critique group’s structure:

– Meets weekly Thursdays from 6:00pm-7:30pm, PDT.
– Both short and long fiction can be submitted.
– Submissions should be polished, appropriately formatted, and submitted via our online forum.
– Submission length maximum: 15,000 words (though many submissions are shorter).
– Back-to-back submissions for novelists are encouraged.
– Participants will be expected to closely read the submission and arrive prepared to discuss it in depth for 1.5 hours. The standard for discussion is high, and I promise to uphold this in a gentle but focused manner.
– If, for whatever reason, a participant can’t read the submission in time for our meeting and/or can’t attend our meeting, that participant will be expected to provide a 1 page written summary of feedback to the submitting writer.
– Here are the Guidelines for Participation for The People’s Colloquium, which we’ll adhere to. https://peoplescolloquium.org/guidelines/

Note: Not all of this groups meetings will be posted on Meetup. This is an established group with around 15 participants.