My critique group is experimenting with a new schedule. We previously had six members and met every two weeks. With three members submitting per meeting, each member waited four weeks before his next chance at feedback.
Now we’re down to five members, and the majority voted to try submitting work for every meeting. Submissions can total up to 20 pages, bur no member is required to critique more than 15. Since we receive submissions a week ahead of time as e-mail attachments, and we use track changes to record our comments and suggestions, our verbal critiques at the meetings will focus mostly on plot, characters, timeline, etc. and will ignore copy editing notes.
That means we need to work steadily to make sure we have new material to submit for every meeting, and it means we always have four critiques to do prior to the meeting.
Although I’m not sure we’re raising the bar in submission quality, we’re certainly giving each other the incentive to increase the quantity. Deadlines are very effective for me, even the self-imposed kind, so I have high hopes this schedule will work like a kick in the rear end.
Goodness knows, I need one.
If you’re a writer, do you belong to a critique group? If so, how often do you meet and how do you handle submissions?