Group Practices


Crew of the spaceship Nostromo, Alien movie

SpaceCrafts has established group practices for submitting material, participating in meetings, critiquing the writing of other members, and attending meetings. Here’s how the process works:

Workshop Participation

  • Please inform the workshop admin (currently Janet Johnston) at least one (1) day before the meeting if you will not be able to attend a workshop. Call the person hosting the meeting if you are coming but are running more than a few minutes late, so we can work around you.
  • If you miss a workshop, mail your critique of each story to its author as soon as possible.
  • Carry your weight by investing the time and energy into others’ stories that you want them to invest in yours.
  • The maximum number of active members is 10.

Workshop Submissions

  • Our nominal limit is four (4) stories per workshop; this may be waived at the leader’s discretion, particularly for short-short material.  A short novel may be handled in one workshop, a long novel can be divided between two. Novels must be delivered at least four (4) weeks in advance.
  • Priorities for slots (if there is a logjam) are based on when stories are submitted and how many stories the authors have submitted.
  • Please send out stories at least two weeks prior to meeting to give time for postal delivery, if needed, and proper critiquing.
  • Recommended manuscript format for the group. Stories should be double-spaced in a 12-point font, so comments can be marked on the manuscript. Something like Times or New Times Roman that consumes less paper than 12-point Courier is fine; serif fonts are preferred. They can be printed on one or both sides, as long as the paper is reasonably opaque.

King Arthur and the Knights of the Round TableDiscussion Format

  • Each member writes a critique and delivers his/her comments in turn around the circle, with oral critiques that should take three minutes. These should hit the highlights of the written material that may (and generally should) be longer.
  • There is no “cross-talking” during that period  — i.e., interruptions, rebuttals, etc. — although simple requests for clarification are acceptable.
  • At the end of the critiques, the author can ask more detailed questions, respond to critique questions, and others can jump in for an open group discussion.
  • Suggestions on how to fix a problem or improve the submission are usually welcome.
  • All critiques and suggestions should be done in a positive manner and a helpful tone.

New Candidate Submissions

  • Any new candidate will submit a short story or partial novel to the group to evaluate.  After reading the new candidate’s sample, active members will discuss the sample at the next meeting and decide whether to invite the candidate to join SpaceCrafts.
  • New candidates for membership are invited to send an initial story for critiques, and to participate in critiquing our stories for three meetings. They officially remain candidates for that period.

Inactive Status

  • Sabbatical Status: If you are unable to come to the workshop and/or do critiques regularly, but want to stay in the workshop, ask to go on the Sabbatical list. You can stay on Sabbatical for up to 1 year.
    • When you go on Sabbatical, you get in line behind the people who are already on Sabbatical.  When there’s an open space in the active group, the people on Sabbatical have first dibs on that open space, beginning with the person at the top of the Sabbatical list.
    • If no one on the Sabbatical list is ready to return, the group may invite a potential new member on the Waiting list to join.
  • Limbo Status is reserved for people who are not formally on Sabbatical because they either never formally joined the group or because they exceeded the time limit for a Sabbatical. This is basically a bookkeeping category, so people do not drop completely from our files, and will be reviewed periodically. If you’re included and know you do not want to return to the group, please inform Wyn.



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