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.
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.
Saturday Night Write meets on the third Saturday of each month to provide instruction and encouragement to writers in the community surrounding UT Arlington (and anyone else who wants to drive out to meet up with us). Our discussion leader presents a structured topic and background research to spark interactive participation, focusing on various aspects of craft. Everyone is welcome to join us for these FREE events.
Please join us Saturday December 16, 4-6 PM at the Flying Fish Restaurant in Arlington. This month we will discuss Introducing Information Without Infodumping. Food prices are reasonable, but no purchases are required for these FREE events. Flying Fish is located in downtown Arlington, on Abram between Cooper and Collins.
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.read moreI am a writer, so it’s only natural that I create an elaborate metaphor to talk about… well, to talk about anything. My mission in this post is to describe DFW Writers Workshop and my experience with the group. I could go on to say that the DFW Writers Workshop is an accidental blessing that I am grateful for walking into. I could explain how it’s a community of diverse people gathered together by one strong pull to create and keep creating. I could go on and on about how much this workshop means to me and how much I have changed by participating in it each week. I could say a lot. Trust me. Instead, I have decided to deliver a metaphor. Forgive me now, I couldn’t stop it even if I wanted to. In light of the holiday season, it has come to mind that the workshop reminds me a lot of Thanksgiving. Stay with me. Every week, people travel across the metropolis to gather together and celebrate their work. We ready our reads in the comforts of home and then slug through traffic to be with one another for a few fine hours. Old friends and new members mingle, discussing what will be read that night. I hunger to hear other people’s stories like I hunger for good turkey. I hold my own brand of creation in my hands hoping to be critiqued and also hoping, just hoping, someone likes it enough to say I should continue cooking up the plot. The actual workshop works like this: you read aloud a small piece of your work for fifteen minutes or less and people critique you for five minutes. A collection of people sits around a table, each of us serving up a piece of genre and letting others digest our words. And then we talk. We talk and we listen. Okay, sometimes we argue. But that only strengthens the analogy if you think about it. And even though we only wait a week between meetings, people catch up with each other as if it’s been a year because we discuss not only our lives, but also the lives of our characters. “My protagonist is acting up again. I can’t get the voice right with this one.” “Yep, I am still working on the climax. It’s going… well, it’s going.” “I have not written a thing in months. I know, I know, it’s been a hard month.” “I have an event this Saturday. Hope y’all can come.” We are a group. We are a tribe. We are a family of our creation. And there is nothing like working out the kinks of your writing with a family that truly understands what you are going through. For that, I am grateful.read more