Critiques

SAWG hosts critique sessions most Wednesday evenings and Saturday afternoons. Members sign up to read their work, and attendees discuss plot, pacing, dialogue, and general writing craft. Visitors are welcome, as are all genres. Wednesday and Saturday groups are run differently - details are below.

The Wednesday workshops are held at various locations. Join our mailing list, or join SAWG, to get the details on upcoming locations.


Critique Guidelines

  • Before each piece is read, the author will provide a brief introduction, including the genre, non-fiction or fiction, memoir, short story, or an excerpt from a novel.
  • Another attendee will read the piece aloud. This helps the writer to hear where the reader may stumble over words or help identify other places that need attention.
  • The group will listen and mark up their copies as necessary.
  • After the reading, the person to the left of the reader begins with their comments on the piece. The comments continue around the table in a clockwise rotation.
  • A participant may comment on the piece or pass.
  • Each person is limited to two minutes of critique. This ensures that three pieces of normal length are read each time.
  • Comments should be constructive. The aim is to improve the writer's work and craft. It's important to spend as much time on the positive as on the items which could use work.
  • The author shall not interrupt the critique, but may answer direct questions. At the end of the critique, the author may comment briefly.
  • It is important that the person providing the critique does not repeat what others have said, unless there is new information or a suggestion added.
  • There shall be no cross-talk among commentators.
  • Grammar, spelling, punctuation should be indicated on the paper copies and need not be addressed in the critique.
  • Feedback is intended to assist the writer, but it is not required that the author uses any or all of the comments from the critique. The best response is, "Thank you." Go home, think it over, and decide whether it will make your writing stronger.

Wednesday Critique Sessions

The Wednesday critique sessions are a long-standing tradition. The location moves frequently, like the best literary rave ever. Join our e-mail list or our Facebook group, or like our Facebook page to get updates on locations.

  • Non-members and the public are welcome to observe the Wednesday night critique sessions.
  • SAWG members seeking input on their writing should request to be put on the reading list, which is managed by Kenneth Bennight, and can be found here.
  • To be added or removed from the list, contact SAWG at sanantoniowritersguild@gmail.com.
  • Once on the reading list, it is recommended to bring material to critique sessions, since reading list order and attendance are taken into consideration. Even if you're midway down the list, it is suggested to bring your work to be read.
  • Each writer should bring copies of their work for the group to read. The maximum length is 10 pages, double-spaced, in Courier 10 point or Times New Roman 12 point font.
  • Attendance at each session varies, but 15 copies are usually sufficient.

Saturday Critique Sessions

The Saturday critique sessions are run by Matt Ahanni and are at Savor Fare. Attendees must be 21 years or older to attend, because there is often wine. This is a dedicated group that has met on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. Expect a bit of rowdiness.

  • All interested and inspired writers are invited to stop by to meet the acclaimed and genteel fellow writers.
  • All women and men of letters are encouraged to join us for lunch, camaraderie, and casual conversation from 12:59 to 2:29 p.m.
  • The critique session will start at 2:30 p.m. and ends at 5:00 p.m.
  • All writers are encouraged to review the selected literary creations of attending members.
  • All attendees who wish to be read and have their chef-d'oeuvre reviewed should join San Antonio Writers Guild. The annual membership is only $30.00.
  • Please be twenty-one years or older, not camera shy, a wondrous writer, a wanderer or an avid rapid reader. Please be prepared to read and review an eclectic selection of novels and short stories written by acclaimed, award-winning authors.