Mission

We help writers of all genres and experience levels to produce and promote professionally published work. We do this by providing read-and-critique sessions, educational activities, ongoing author support, networking opportunities and a welcoming, inclusive community.


  • Upcoming events

    Wednesday, January 24, 2018 at 07:00 PM
    Simmons Center in Euless, TX

    Wednesday Night Read and Critique

    The Workshop meets EVERY Wednesday, regardless of holidays or weather. We welcome visitors to come to any of these regular weekly meeting. There is no need to notify us in advance, just show up! It has been years since a meeting was canceled for any reason.

    We meet at 7 p.m. at the Simmons Center, 508 Simmons Drive in Euless, TX and rarely go past 10:00 p.m. Many continue on after the meeting at a nearby IHOP on 183 and Westpark/Murphy in Euless.

    Wednesday, January 24, 2018 at 07:00 PM
    Simmons Center in Euless, TX

    Wednesday Night Read and Critique

    The Workshop meets EVERY Wednesday, regardless of holidays or weather. We welcome visitors to come to any of these regular weekly meeting. There is no need to notify us in advance, just show up! It has been years since a meeting was canceled for any reason.

    We meet at 7 p.m. at the Simmons Center, 508 Simmons Drive in Euless, TX and rarely go past 10:00 p.m. Many continue on after the meeting at a nearby IHOP on 183 and Westpark/Murphy in Euless.


  • Latest from the blog

    Reading Out Loud

    Unlike most people who join a writer’s group to perfect their craft, connect with beta-readers, or simply commiserate about their latest rejection over pancakes and coffee, I was essentially voluntold (and yes that’s a made-up word) by my therapist to join the DFW Writer’s Workshop. As part of my exposure therapy for social anxiety, I had to join a group. Not only did I have to become a nametag wearing member of the DFWWW, I had to show up and participate in their activities. And if you’ve ever been to our weekly meeting, you know that there are two main activities — reading and critiquing.  The first time I read my work in front of my peers, my voice shook, my face turned fifty shades of red and sweat dribbled down the inside of my shirt as if I were soaking in a sauna. Even worse, I felt as if my rapidly beating heart was about to shoot up and out of my throat as I struggled towards my last sentence. I wanted nothing more than to slide under the plastic table and die. And that was while I was still reading. I hadn’t even gotten to the worst part, the critique, or the soul crushing evisceration of what I’d just read in front of real live human beings. That first read, I can’t even remember what people had to say about my pages. At the time, it didn’t matter. I was silently congratulating myself for surviving. I’d read my words aloud in front of people I didn’t know and I didn’t collapse and die, even though I felt like it was a very real possibility. Each week it became easier. After each reading, I proved to myself that the fear I felt in my body wasn’t a real fight-or-flight situation. I could relax. More importantly, I could also listen and learn which has been the greatest gift of the workshop. I have learned more from hearing other people read their work and the resulting critiques on a weekly basis than I did in my MFA program. I’ve learned what works and what doesn’t work and more importantly — why. Even when I think I’ve nailed a passage and I look forward to sharing it, the simple act of reading it out loud at the group magnifies the stilted dialogue, the awkward sentence, or the lengthy exposition. It’s a wonderful, insightful exercise that I would recommend to anyone who wants to become a better writer.
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    Be a Better Beta Reader

    So, your friend wants you to beta read his book. It’s a masterpiece, a baby carved right out of his soul. You tell him he’s smart not to send that baby out into the heartbreaking world of “Dear Agent X” without someone else taking a look at it first. The manuscript arrives in your inbox, and you soon discover that your friend’s baby weighs 300 pounds. It’s not really that fun to play with and screams a lot. It vomits on you occasionally. And the diapers...ugh...you’re knee deep in them.     So when you hand that 300-pound baby back to him two months later, the poor thing has a single comment on every chapter, right at the end. They read something like this: “Great opening chapter!” “Hmm...Something wrong with this scene, but I can’t put my finger on it.” “Well...I’m not sure about this...I no longer like this character. Check motivations.” “Meh.” “Great chapter! You’re back!” Most writers have to deal with critiques that are less than helpful, but a bad beta read is just depressing. The writer is left with a vague feeling of unease, because it’s obvious this baby needs some work. Vague unease does not lend itself to an enthusiastic and targeted revision. So the next time you say “yes” to that desperate writer friend, think about the following tips: 1. Stay in your comfort zone: If you hate police procedurals, don’t beta read your friend’s cop mystery. If you’ve never read a romance novel, you’re absolutely the worst person to beta read your buddy’s Scottish highland erotic adventure. Pick your beta reads carefully, and learn to say no. 2. Stay on your toes when you’re reading: Your writer friend is most likely lost in his or her own revision. Take the time to mark specific locations in the manuscript. When the story made you laugh, make a note on the paragraph.  If you were moved to tears, mark it. When the narrative slows and drags, find the spot where that began and make a note. The comments don’t have to be long, but this approach to beta reading can help shave dozens of hours off of your friend’s revision. 3. Be specific:  Good critiques pinpoint dropped plot threads, weird character motivations, and ugly dialogue tags. Your comments should also suggest revision ideas, although it’s best that you include fleshed out examples in a comment bubble rather than inside the text of the manuscript (writer friends can be sensitive about their babies).   4. Don’t forget to praise: It’s not all about telling your friend what’s wrong with the book. More than anything, your writer friend needs to know what’s right. A beta read that constantly focuses on the negative can hobble a writer during the revision process. Positive reinforcement encourages the writer to reproduce that excellence again.    5. Tell the writer when to cut: So here’s the truth. It’s not a baby. That means that cutting a chapter is not like cutting off your kid’s arm. Help the author realize that and let go. Sometimes it’s better to ditch an entire chapter than spend six months revising something that will never, never work. Beta reading is part of any thriving writing community, but it’s also part of being a good friend. Learn to do it right, and you’ll get the same treatment on your own 300-pound baby novel when you really need it. 
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