Some thread moderation has happened!
Last year's posts have been archived into this thread:
Critique Circle #2 [Europe Chapter] - 2010 posts archive | [Last page]
This here thread that you're reading will contain 2011 posts pertaining to the European critique circle, which runs every month in the AW chat room.
2012 edit: also includes 2012 banter and crit group scheduling info.
How the crit group works:
How do I get to the chat room?The group meets in the AW critique chat room once each month, usually on the first Sunday of the month, around 3pm GMT. The thread title usually gets changed to announce this.
A week or more before the meeting, the person whose turn it is to be critiqued sends their writing sample (up to 5K words) to the nominated group admin, who distributes it via email to group members.
In the chat room, we each post comments on the sample, taking turns, usually over two rounds so everyone gets a chance to have their say, and the author gets to ask for extra clarification and discuss comments. Critique comments take the form of 2 or 3 boiled-down paragraphs focusing on the most relevant points. These chat sessions usually last between 1 and 2 hours.
Afterwards, the admin emails a transcript of the chat session to group members. Members may also email their critiques, containing fuller comments than were raised in chat, to the author, copying everyone else for info.
See this thread in AW Chat forum:
FAQ about AW IRC Chat Channel (How to get there, who the operators are, etc.)
What's this BOC (Best Openings Contest) you talk about?
-DerekFor the curious or puzzled, this is the Thing We Do in between crit group chats. Group members each write the first 150 of a short story or chapter, and send them to the BOC admin (me, at the moment) who strips out author info and emails the anonymous entries to all group members. Who then vote for their 1st, 2nd and 3rd favorite entries.
Winner gets applause and ice cream, but really everyone wins because it's writing practice plus opportunity to see what grabs readers by the throat and doesn't let go.