One of the writers groups I'm a member of, LitLab, had a workshop with writer Patrick Chapman earlier this year. He conducted the workshop with the rules used in a workshop he's a member of. We decided to adopt these rules when we came back after summer so we start this week.
The rules include:
All pieces to be presented for criticism must be circulated beforehand.
Each member must print out each piece and make notes, criticisms, suggestions on it.
This will be used at the meeting and then given to the author.
Criticism must be positive as well as negative and not personal.
At the meeting the author reads his/her piece.
Each member in turn offers thoughts on the piece without interruptions.
The author responds at the end.
So I've been printing out the pieces from the other members, reading them and making notes on them. This is a different experience to hearing them read once and immediately responding. I've no idea how it will go at the meeting. I imagine the 'no interrupting' rule might be the most difficult to enforce!!