We’re not too picky, but we do ask that you please double space and run a basic spell check over your work. Page numbers are also appreciated. We want to focus on the content of your work rather than the formatting, so make it easy for us!
We write across a range of genres, the commonality being YA (young adult) novels. In submissions, we are interested in YA but open to YA through Adult (fiction only), including literary, speculative, contemporary, and romance.
We critique each other’s original submissions monthly, both in writing and over video chat. For the written reviews, which we do before the web meeting, we typically use the Track Changes function in Microsoft Word/Google Docs. In-text notes include anything from grammar corrections to word choice suggestions to emotional reactions. A paragraph at the end, for the author, details specific things the person did well and recommendations for revision. Questions to consider while reviewing:
What is the story about? What themes emerge?
Does the story maintain a clear setting? Is the plot clear, and does it serve the story?
What is the Point of View? Does the POV serve the story?
Is the authoring SHOWing rather than TELLing?
These notes serve as a way for readers to wrap their heads around the submissions and as a jumping-off point for discussion, as well as providing something concrete for the writers to return to when they dive into revision.
Naturally our meetings start with hellos/how are yous. After that, we dive into the business of the day, namely reviewing the submissions of our own work that members have sent out. With each submission, one of the other Mugsters summarizes the story. We have found that the summary is an important step, because sometimes there are details within the story that people miss, and it’s helpful to the writer to see where their intentions are (or are not) getting across. We critique each submission in turn, with the various members asking questions and giving constructive criticism. Authors take notes during this process; often, we come up with helpful ideas and tips that aren’t included in our written commentaries.
At the end of the night, we finish up with any general news. This can include contests we’ve found, submissions we’ve made to publications, things we’d like to share, whatever sparks our interest.
Consideration for Membership: Prerequisites
In order to be considered for membership in MUG, candidates must submit a writing sample, consisting of two separate pieces between 10-15 pages each. Short stories and novel chapters are acceptable.
Applicants may be invited to participate in a probationary period, during which the applicant will attend meetings, submit work, and critique pieces as if they were a permanent member. During this trial period, the existing group will evaluate the applicant’s level of participation, work, and commitment.
All candidates must have completed at least one college-level fiction course and be familiar with basic concepts such as POV, “show vs. tell,” plot points, character arc, etc. Pleas; no you’re grammer. (That sentence should have killed you a little bit.) MUG may accept members who demonstrate significant improvement during the probationary period.
We are eager to meet and work with other writers. We’re committed to deepening our skill, honing our craft, and embracing the art of the written word. To supporting and encouraging each other, to being successful published authors, to sharing our messages with the world.