Alliance group is a place of safety and acceptance.
Confidentiality rules. Discussions or work that is shared is
confidential and is not to leave the group unless the author/member
gives you specific permission.
or personal issues (discomfort, complaints, etc.,) should be
expressed to the appropriate person or to the facilitator for
Creative ideas are protected within the group. This group will
not violate the creativity of another.
will commit to being creative and supporting others in their
feedback must support the author in a compassionate manner and
build on strengths rather than focus on weaknesses. It should
be genuine and honest with useful comments.
is exchanged between writers for the purpose of helping one another
improve writing skills. All writers are at different stages of developing
the knowledge of their craft and all have different areas of expertise
of giving feedback is the sharing of this knowledge with one another
as it relates to a specific piece of writing. The whole point of
giving feedback is to help a writer improve.
is no single way to give feedback. Some people prefer to read the
piece once, making comments as they go along. Others prefer to read
the piece once in its entirety without thinking about details in
order to form their first impressions and then reread with their
red pens out.
people like to keep a checklist handy to make sure they don't overlook
important elements of the feedback; others prefer to comment only
on what is apparent in the reading.
people choose to insert their comments throughout it in a clear,
distinct type in the same way, as an editor would work with a manuscript.
Others prefer to refer only to the parts they are discussing. Often
people experienced in giving feedback will use both at different
times, depending on the depth of the feedback.
goal is to help another writer improve.
it impersonal - avoid any form of nastiness.
the type of feedback you would like to receive.
praise where praise is due.
that praise is not enough; feedback for improvement of the content
is also required.
the "sandwich" technique. (good, not-so-hot, good)
clear in your comments; provide specific examples and suggestions
not be tempted to rewrite for the writer. Examples are appropriate.
time constraints and the size of the group here are a few suggestions.
They can be adjusted as needed.
copies of your work for each person so that we can take them home
for the week and comment on when we return to the group. Most of
us prefer you to email us the work. Courtesy dictates that you send
work in the body of the email and not as an attachment. We will
soon have an online forum for posting work and feedback. Each author
has the choice of having have a discussion on the piece at the next
meeting or just taking the comments home to consider.
group continues to grow, we will begin to have sign ups for submission
or break out into specialty genre groups.
Proofread. Don't expect writers to proofread for you. Make sure your work is
as error-free as possible.
on exchanging constructive feedback with others in the group. The most common complaint about groups is that they are often unfair.
The reason they seem unfair is because some writers will share their
work, receive comments from others, but not return the favor. Another
injustice occurs when the quality of the comments are not reasonably
equal in effort, regardless of experience.
a beginning writer has something valuable to say. Writers
need to have an idea of how readers will react to their work. You,
as the author, are the final judge of the value of any comment.
not defend your work. If your work is not understood, then
it either needs to be clarified or the person offering the comment
wasn't reading closely enough. If one person misreads your work,
don't worry about it, but if several say the same thing, then it
is worth reconsidering.
tact in your comments. The best feedback inspires the author
to look for creative solutions and more effective alternatives.
Rather than saying, "I think you should change this part
because it is confusing,." you could say, "Consider
changing this part for clarity." The later wording leaves
the author with a better sense of control with additional options.
not write the work for the author. It is very tempting to
inflict our own ideas on an author. If there is a characterization
or plot problem, simply point it out and explain why you had a problem
specific. It is of no value to simply say you like or dislike
something. We need to know why so we can do it again or avoid the
pitfall later. If you don't like something, try to determine why.
Also be specific about your favorite scenes, lines and descriptions.
care. Feedback can be uncomfortable at times. Some of us
can deal with it better than others. Work at making your comments
to consider when writing feedback:
members and visitors are expected to be courteous while the group
is in session. If the facilitator deems that it is necessary to
ask for consideration, please abide by those directives. In consideration
of other members, any person causing a disruption, exhibiting any
hostility (or extreme behavior) will be asked to leave. The founder
or facilitator of the group has the sole right to refuse admittance
to anyone and to decline further participation. Any inappropriate
communication in any medium will be treated on a case-by-case basis.
is in his or her own stage of development both personally and professionally.
You don't have to like everyone, but you do have to be courteous.
The meetings are for writing related discussions, so please refrain
from discussing outside social activities during the group session.
Get together before or after the group to catch up.
Secondary conversations are inappropriate within the group during
reading, feedback, or when another member is discussing his or her
are always welcome provided their attendance is not disruptive.
The attendance of minors and children, irrespective of their age
or mental capacity, is not appropriate or in the interests of the
guest speaker or the group in general. Please check with the facilitator
prior to bringing such guests. If you have received permission,
please sit in an area where any disruption or fidgeting will not
disturb the group or speaker.
Regarding late arrivals or early departures, please save your social
interchanges for an appropriate time and take a seat where members
and speakers will not be disturbed by those comings and goings.
Those that have the floor will appreciate this courtesy. When possible,
alert the facilitator of your need to arrive late or to leave before
the end of the meeting.
devices should not interrupt the meeting. If you are using such
a device to take notes, please sit in an area where it will not
be distracting, and turn cell phones and pagers off or to a vibration
setting. If this is not possible, please muffle the device or leave
it in your vehicle.