Meeting Guidelines
The purpose of the Monday evening writer’s group is to support writers in their creative process. We are a general-interest writers’ group, open to writers of all levels of experience, and of all ages and interests.
We are a working writers’ group, and our main premise is that writers write. If you join, be prepared to read what you are working on, to take criticism graciously, and also to give it respectfully. We’ll help you achieve your goal of getting your stories into print—your goal is one we share.

A “member in good standing” is a writer in compliance with all rules and regulations of the organization—written and implied—who pays his/her membership dues in a timely manner, and is thereby eligible to:

          Attending Meetings
          While we strive to have fun at our meetings, we are not geared toward socializing. Attending meetings is a privilege. We begin with old business, move on to new business, and ask for any announcements and questions. With the business part out of the way, we move on to reading.

          Reading Out Loud
          Reading of original materials (published or unpublished) at the meetings will be limited to 500 words or less, allowing for a few minutes of critique and discussion. Members may occasionally send a document to a designated board member asking to have it sent to the group prior to the meeting, allowing for more thorough reading and consideration, however, no member is obligated to do so. If any printed works are distributed at meetings, that writing is then collected and returned to the author at the end of the meeting, unless permission is given by the author to keep the writing.

          Reading out loud brings a story to life. Inconsistencies, how a piece flows, run-on sentences, and many other problems become obvious. Reading your writing out loud can give you a sense of whether the tone is right. Sometimes we leave out a word, or make errors when we cut and paste. You will also be able to recognize places where you have moved from one topic to another too quickly.

          Read with the emotions of the storyline, at a moderate pace, clearly enunciating and loud enough for all members to hear, recognizing that there may be members with hearing devices.

          Tips for Critiquing
          When giving critiques:

          1. Critique the writing, not the writer. Critiques should be short, constructive, and only deal with the work.

          2. Be specific, making suggestions for how the writer might improve on the story and the characters.

          3. How you would write the story isn’t the point, but sharing how you might write it provides valuable perspective.

          4. Remember the subject matter is personal, and even if it is not your personal taste, you can provide a fair critique.

          5. If part of a story gives you the feeling that something is wrong, but you don’t know why, that’s okay. When a reader is taken out of the story for any reason, just say, “I was stopped by (the color, the word, or a point of view)”.

          When receiving critiques:

          1. While being critiqued, be open to new ideas. You are totally free not to take other members’ advice. It’s your writing, so there is no need to defend your writing. You are being given the gift of how others suggest that your work may be improved.

          2. You may wish to take notes.

          3. Appreciate that even good things can be improved.

          4. Be willing to make changes that make sense to you, without feeling obligated to change anything you feel is essential to your story. It belongs to you.

          5. Even if several members agree that a scene or stanza is confusing or implies something you didn’t intend, the problem may or may not be with the writing.

          Providing a Biography
          If you are creating a biography, take time to think about your readers and what you want them to know about you. Present your biography as professionally as possible, keeping all audiences in mind, and recognizing that personal bios reflect on the organization as a whole. Before submitting your bio for board approval, you may decide to write a few different versions and pass them around asking for feedback. Here are a few tips to consider:

          1. Write in third person. It will make your bio sound more objective. Your author persona should not be writing the bio; your marketing persona should, and if you are trying to get published, this style will tend to make you more presentable to the publisher.

          2. Put your name in the first sentence of your bio.

          3. Put in your occupation, any accomplishments or awards. In other words, state your claim to fame.

          4. Add your contact details or a hyperlink to your web page.

          5. Aim for at least 250 words.

          6. Submit a photo to accompany your bio and be sure to keep your bio up to date.

          Email Messages
          Email messages relevant to the general membership, will come from the President or another Board Member designated with the responsibility of sending out information to the group. Address issues, make suggestions, or provide feedback by sending a private email message to the President or other Board Member.

          If you want to contact another member, make sure you send email messages from your own private email address to that person’s private email address. Our contact list is for the organizations benefit only.

          Sharing our contact information with anyone outside of the group is strictly prohibited and subject to revocation of membership from the organization.


          Listen respectfully.
          Take turns speaking.
          Give constructive criticism.
          Use constructive dialogue.
          Be positive and encouraging.
          Create a safe environment in which to learn
          and enjoy the craft of writing.

          Pine Island Writers


          Board of Directors

          Jeff Nilsson - President
          Chai Vori - Treasurer
          Paul Petruzzi - Secretary/Historian
          Jim Voris - Member-at-Larg