VGW Critique Group

The primary aim of this group is to facilitate a small face to face workshop environment for newer writers with little to no critique experience. If you think that might be you, read on to learn more.

Workshop Format

We will meet monthly at minimum. Ideal group size is between 5 and 8 writers, plus the facilitator (Mark). It is expected that 2 or 3 people will be submitting work for every workshop. This could be a chapter from a longer work, or a complete short story. The important thing is that workshop members are committed to producing work on a regular basis.

Submitted work is to be shared on Google docs. Group members are not required to return written critique, but if they wish, they can print the document and write their notes in the margin, email separate notes, or make a copy of the google doc and use the built in suggestion features. We will not be sharing critique before the in-person discussion. These notes are only to be provided after the workshop if the critiquer so desires.

During the critique, the person whose work is being read will not be allowed to participate in the discussion. They are to be a silent observer to the group discussion, unless someone asks them a direct question to clarify a point of discussion. Don’t worry, you will be allowed to ask questions after the discussion, however, under no circumstances will you be allowed to “correct” or rebut critique you disagree with.

Critique instruction will be given as part of the first workshop, so don’t worry if you’re not sure how to give effective critique. That’s why we’re doing this.


The most difficult part of this enterprise is going to be finding a day and time to meet. Please fill out the form below with your availability and contact info.


Please be aware that not everyone will be writing in the same genre. This is a learning environment more than it is a long term workshop group solution. As such, our makeup will be a little more diverse than an ideal workshop group where everyone works in closely overlapping genres. The principles of critique remain the same across genres, even if you won’t be able to pick up nuances of genre tropes you may not be familiar with. Please don’t let this be a deterrent.

At some point you may feel it beneficial to move on to another group. That’s fine! Ideally, you will make connections with other writers through this group and our other meetups.

Last, but most definitely not least…

If you’re going to join this workshop group, please be prepared to work! Reading for critique takes more time than reading for entertainment. It’s also a bit of work to compile your thoughts on a piece in a concise manner. This is above and beyond your your own writing work. If you’d like to be a part of the group, it is important that you commit to regular attendance. A workshop group with missing members falls apart quickly. Life happens, and people will miss workshops, but in that case, it is expected you still submit written feedback to the authors privately.

Still interested?

Fill out this form and we’ll notify you when we a schedule.

First round signup will be open until February 7th. Critique workshops will most likely be held at a private address on Fraser Street (near King Edward). In the event we have more interest than we can accommodate, we will be hosting the session on the day and time that works for the most people. Right of refusal will be given based on signup order, even if you’ve indicated a day/time that doesn’t work for you. If for whatever reason you’re not included in the initial group, you will be kept in a priority slot on the wait list when an opening presents itself.