What are Critique Pods?

Pods are small, supportive groups (3‒7 members) that meet regularly to critique one another’s work. Each pod has a leader who keeps meetings on track and maintains communication with members. The members:

  • Meet at least once a month
  • Write in the same genre
  • Point out what works and what doesn’t, nourishing one another’s growth
Why join a pod?

Talking to a keyboard is a solitary experience. After a while, our creative excitement withers. We lose trust in our words. Critique groups can hear our words, respond to them, and give us the confidence of knowing how well we are communicating. With feedback, we grow as writers. Pod mates can become our biggest fans, hardest critics, best teachers, and closest friends.

WAG has only two hard-and-fast rules:
  1. You must be a WAG member to join a pod.
  2. You must critique the writing, not the writer, in a courteous manner.
How do pods work?

Some pods expect members to submit a piece—a chapter, short story, essay, poem, scene—at every meeting; others don’t. Most have word limits for submissions. Some have strict rules for critique; others are casual. Some ask members to read their submissions out loud, while others email submissions ahead of time, and plunge right into critiquing at the meeting. Members of some pods see/hear a piece for the first time when they meet. Others comment on submissions, using Word, and return copies via email to the author. A few pods expect authors to take their own notes during discussion. Some have members with varying levels of writing experience; some are made up of all beginners or all seasoned writers.

May I visit a pod to have my work critiqued?

To have your work critiqued, you must be a member of WAG and join a pod. Pod meetings are not open for folks to just drop in. Guests must check with the pod leader before visiting. If you are a WAG member, you may visit as many pods as you like, with permission from each pod leader, but your work likely will not be critiqued on your first visit. If you are not a WAG member, you may visit a pod once, with permission from the leader, but your work will not be critiqued. However, in most pods, the guest will be asked to submit a writing sample, and he/she will be invited to participate in the critique of pod members’ works.

How do I join a pod?

You should visit first. WAG’s goal is to match each writer with a pod in which he or she feels comfortable and is likely to receive helpful feedback. Most pods come to a consensus before accepting a new member into the pod.

What if I don’t find the pod I need?

Contact the Pod Coordinator who will work with you and others to form a new group.
Do you write nonfiction? Want feedback? We’re hoping to get a new critique pod started in this genre soon. Interested?

Find Your Critique Pod

Click a plus sign (+) below to find a critique pod.

Creative Cronies

Leader: Carol Ray Skipper
Meeting time: 10:00 AM, 1st Thursday of month
Place: Varies, Northwest Gainesville
Note: Email submissions in advance, up to 2500 words; poems, illustrations, and stories are for pre-school to young adult.
Opening? Full

They Who Shall Not Be Named

Leader: Felicia Lee
Meeting time: 6:00 PM, every 3rd Saturday
Place: Public and General, 1000 NE 16th Street
Note: Members submit 11 pages by email prior to the meeting; critique at meetings.
Opening? Open

Porcupine Pod

Leader: Penny Church-Pupke
Meeting time: From 2:00-4:00 PM, Last Saturday of the month
Place: Jason’s Deli
Note: Members email 2,500-3,500 words; at meeting, we discuss each work for about 20 minutes.
Opening? Full

Misplaced Modifiers

Leader: Robin Ingle
Meeting time: 6:30 PM, every other Tuesday
Place: Jason’s Deli
Note: Pod members are currently working on novels.
Opening? Full

Peas in a Pod (Novel/Short Fiction)

Leader: Pat Caren
Meeting time: 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM, every Wednesday
Place: Jason’s Deli, Oaks Mall Plaza
Note: Electronic submissions. Focus is on novels, but short fiction and creative nonfiction are accepted.
Opening? Open

Redshirts of the Multiverse (Science/Speculative Fiction)

Leader: Laura Clemmons
Meeting time: 2:00 PM, last Saturday of the month
Place: Blackwater Brew
Opening? Visitors are welcome but contacting first is recommended since we have been moving around a bit. There is an application process to join and submit for critique.

Writers and Readers of Memoir (WARM)

Leader: Patsy Murray
Meeting time: 10:30 AM, 1st & 3rd Tuesdays
Place: Members’ homes
Opening? Full

The Tower Memoirists (Memoir/Personal Essay)

Leader: Sharon Ketts
Meeting time: 3:00 PM, 2nd and 4th Wednesday of month, adjusted for Nov. and Dec. holidays
Place: Tower Road Library
Opening? Open

Heart Melody (Memoir)

Leader: Connie Morrison
Meeting time: 1:00 PM, 4th Tuesday of month, adjusted for Nov. and Dec. holidays
Place: Millhopper Branch Library, 3145 NW 43rd St., meeting room A
Note: Email up to 6 pages in advance, noting areas needing help; read aloud at meeting.
Opening? Full

Power of Writing (POW) (Memoir/Creative Nonfiction)

Leader: Ann~Marie Magné
Meeting time: 2:30 PM, 1st & 3rd Saturday
Place: Members’ homes
Note: Dropbox submissions, up to 2,500 words. Laptops used at meetings to view everyone’s critiques.
Opening? Open

The Dissociates (Memoir/Nonfiction)

Leader: Becky Micha
Meeting time: 12:30 PM, 3rd Tuesday of the month
Place: Members’ homes
Note: Email about 2,500 words before meeting; after lunch, spend 20-minute discussing each piece
Opening? Check to see

Poetry

Leader: Mary Wescott
Meeting time: 2:30 PM, one Sunday a month
Place: varies, in Micanopy
Opening? Open

Poetry Pod People

Leader: Zack West
Meeting time: 8:30 PM, alternate Mondays
Place: Maude’s in the Sun Center
Opening? Open