Critique Group Bylaws – SIW

Member Jeannine Baumgartle came up with these, many long years ago, for the Southern Indiana Writers Group. We’ve been together about 20 years now, so they must work pretty well for us.

(Or Concessions to Necessity)

I. Membership —

Interested adults, 18 and older

II. Regular collection of dues —

$1.00 a week as able.

III. Guests —

A. Guests may attend at the invitation of a regular member, provided notice is given a week in advance. (Does not include children under 18.)

B. There is a three visit limit without full participation, such as work in progress and something shared, participation in critiques and paying dues.

C. Walk-in arrangement includes an invitation to sit in as a guest, with acceptance of literature (bylaws and stylesheet) upon leaving.

IV. Publications —

A. One per year. We currently produce a series entitled “Indian Creek Anthology” with a different theme each year.

B. Submission to “Indian Creek Anthology” available to members only.

C. Editorial policies —

1. Stories and poems must be read aloud and discussed before they are accepted by consensus into the anthology (See Critique Process).

2. The book represents us; therefore mechanics and formatting must be consistent. Grammar and syntax will be open to refinement as necessary, and members may offer comments as to strengths or weaknesses, but artistic discretion is left to the author.

3. An objective revision should be made by the author, integrating points recommended by consensus.

4. Proofreading should be completed first by the author, then by the group.

5. Since we self-publish and market the book according to seasonal interest, we have to set deadlines. Late submissions will not be considered.

6. Publishing rights revert to the author upon publication.

V. Critique Process —

A. Bring a readable draft.

B. Bring enough copies for everyone.

C. Explain whether you want a thorough critique, or an overview.

D. Read it aloud, or have someone else read it for you.

E. Group comments and suggestions should involve free interaction with the author and show respect for content. Criticism is offered in the spirit of helpfulness; this is not an adversarial process.

VI. Itinerary —

Varies from week to week. Generally there will be time for literary critiques (After sharing time.) unless immediate business requires attention.

VII. Revisions of bylaws must be voted on.

WRITING PROMPT: Write a scene in which bylaws are not followed.



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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