WRITE AND WRONG Consider this criteria: a congregation of motivated members with shared goals; the willingness to give and accept constructive feedback; commitment to furthering group goals over any individual agenda; mutual respect and support for members. Sounds fine but what are the practical implications? Motivated members regularly attend meetings and strive constantly to improve. There are groups for hobbyists but I submit that their needs are distinct from those of serious writers seeking publication. Some socializing is fun and productive but that should NEVER be the sole purpose of the group. Another cautionary tale: politics and religion are subjects best avoided in a critique group unless the writing itself deals with those topics. Even then, observations must be confined to the style not the substance of the presenter’s writing. Effective writing groups exist to offer counsel and to help every member to IMPROVE. Egos must be confined to one’s pocket or purse although a spot of friendly competition can often fuel excellence. My own writing group was proof of that. In our 7 years of existence we produced 4 traditionally published writers and 12 releases. Not a bad record in today’s frenzied publishing environment.