Reading & Critique

Trinity Arts Writers Workshop

Our main objective is to provide an atmosphere which fosters creativity and improvement with an emphasis on constructive, supportive critique.

Critique is given on the quality of writing, not content. Our strength is in mutual support through reading and critique.

Reading Your Work

As a writer, it helps to be thick-skinned.

Members sign in upon arrival if they want to read. The order is normally 'first come, first served'.

Provide enough printed copies of the work you will read. Please use the commonly accepted manuscript format . Line numbers are strongly recommended.

Pace yourself - If you read too fast, reviewers will not have time to record edits and comments.

more tips on reading

At normal reading speed, about 6 to 8 pages is the limit to read in 15 minutes. Allow time for valuable verbal comments.

Don't defend. Listen, smile, nod and take notes, then move on to the next critiquer. If necessary, discuss it later.

Ground Rules

    • Reading & Critique Time - Members are are normally allowed 20 minutes (timed). Including: 12 - 15 minutes for reading followed by 5 - 8 minutes of verbal critique comments.
      • visitors may critique / comment on paper only
    • First Amendment Warning - We do not censor. However, if your reading includes explicit sex, violence, profanity or other content that might be considered to be offensive then we insist that you proclaim such so that others may step out of the room if they choose to.
    • No Defense Policy - The reader may not defend against verbal critique comments. The rationale being that when you submit your work to a publisher you will not be able to defend it.
    • Respect the Reader – turn phones to silent mode, no interruptions, sidebar conversations

Critique Guidelines & Tips

Elements to Consider

Critique the quality of writing, not content.

Show don't Tell.

Avoid clichés, author intrusion, and passive voice

Dealing with multiple view points (head hopping)

Setting description

Is the character believable?

Grammar, word choice

Be honest, but not mean

Temper critical remarks with positive comments,

Encourage improvement with praise and approval.

Never ridicule or make jokes at the writer's expense

State comments in the perspective of your feelings rather than the writer's faults. ex. "I feel that ABC would make the point stronger" vs "You should have done XYZ"

Other Critique Ideas