NWW PARTICIPATION RULES

A. New People must attend three times before they will be invited to join the Yahoo Groups e-mail list serve AND bring pages for critique/feedback on Wednesdays.

B. Members wishing to read will indicate that to the Wednesday evening facilitator. Their names will go into the random drawing. Anyone not getting to read one Wednesday will be first up the following meeting. The group normally gets through 7-9 readings at the regular meetings.

C. Reading material will be limited to five pages of 12-pt font, double-spaced fiction, three short poems or five pages of properly formatted stage or film scripts. Authors may give SHORT intros or set-up information but total reading and feedback time is expected to be limited to 10-12 minutes and the facilitator will stop discussions at that time limit. Someone else may read an author's material for them, if they wish. Scripts are expected to be "table-reading, parts-assigned" style. Members can always discuss material after the meeting.

D. If any material contains 1) profanity, 2) graphic violence and/or 3) sexual descriptions, the author MUST announce this BEFORE READING to allow any attendee the option to step out during the reading or the facilitator will stop the reading when potentially offensive material is presented. All genres are welcome but pornography, erotica and NONFICTION are not appropriate to NWW meetings.

E. The facilitator will have the option to be the first commenter and will select from a show of hands the 1-2 other people to make verbal comments. ALL OTHERS are expected to make brief notes for the author that will contain ONLY comments to help improve the work. Rude, demeaning or crude remarks are not allowed. Everyone is also expected to note positives so the author will know what is working well.

F. Anyone not attending a meeting or posting to the list-serve for two consecutive quarters (six months) indicating a loss of interest in writing and/or the group will be removed from the e-mail list with or without notice.

G. New people or previous members wishing reinstatement will be expected to attend at least four times a QUARTER (Jan-Mar, Apr-Jun, July-Sept, Oct-Dec) before they will be allowed to have a membership paragraph on this website. Anyone not attending for two consecutive quarters (6 months) will have their paragraph removed. Long-distance members on the list-serve will NOT be eligible for inclusion on the Member list of this website because the purpose of the paragraphs is to introduce participants to potential attendees, not to add to a resume or advertise per se.

NWW PHILOSOPHY

The purpose of these rules are 1) to discourage transient use of the website, e-mail list and group to merely advertise the affiliation without participation and 2) to encourage sincere participation in the give-and-take of the organization. Though many new writers feel vulnerable and insecure and a few professional writers may feel frustrated with an "all-inclusive" philosophy, the Nebraska Writers Workshop maintains an atmosphere of focusing on the writing rather than the writer. No matter our background or experience, we all come to the table as equals. No one is the perfect, judgmental master; ALL are the perpetual students seeking to learn and improve. Egos are left at the door as the open mind enters the room.

CRITIQUING/FEEDBACK INSIGHTS

1. Be truthful, but also be helpful. Say WHY something doesn't work and provide a resource if you know of one. However, avoid any superiority innuendo. We're here to help, not hurt or show off.

2. Avoid effusive praise because that can intimidate others while inflating the writer's self-perception. Simply move on.

3. If you are not versed in a genre or discipline, ONLY make comments appropriate from an audience perspective.

4. NEVER say simply "I liked this" or "I didn't like this." Vagueness helps no one. Give a brief reason.

5. If you didn't hear or understand something, say so, but don't expect a dissertation-type explanation. That eats time.

6. NEVER interrupt another person's commentary, either as disagreeing listener or as the author. Everyone has an opinion.

7. Do not repeat positive or negative someone else mentioned for the sake of our limited time.

8. Do not demand the author agree with your opinion. The writer is the ultimate authority on his/her work and can accept or disregard anything they want.

9. NEVER launch into a defense or an explanation if the commentator didn't "get it." That's another time waster.

10. As a rule of thumb to the writer, if one person notes something, pause, but if two or more people make the same observation, give that point deep consideration.

11. Discussion of politics and religion are not appropriate to NWW in general but ARE appropriate to character speeches and thoughts when relevant to the story . . . however, beware character lecturing because it annoys the majority of readers/listeners and those around the table will note that.

12. Give the reader your undivided attention as common courtesy.

13. As a writer say "Thank you" to those who care enough to engage their brains and evaluate the material.

NOTE: Trusting the opinions of those around the table is a gradual matter of learning the personalities of the other writers. Not everyone has the same strengths and awareness, the same education and experience insights. However, even new writers can listen as READERS and those people are your potential audience or consumer. Respect both aspects as you come to understand your role in the group's dynamics.