Back in 2008, when the Slushbusters blog was still new, Steph shared a post about how she started a critique group. If you read the whole thing, you can see that she mentioned posting fliers in the local libraries. That's how I found the group. I was browsing in the children's department of our Central Library and saw the flier.
That was over four years ago. I emailed the address on the flier, Steph wrote me back, and a few weeks later I attended my first critique group meeting. It was a good thing I emailed too, because by then the group was meeting at Panera. It didn't come out in the scan you see above, but Steph had written in pencil to "Please call before coming as we sometimes have to cancel."
The fun part now is that I had a meeting at the Central Library last week, and the flyer was still there. I took it down. It's funny for us for a few reasons. First, it's amazing that no one had removed it in all this time. Second, it's been years since we either met at the library or did any writing exercises. (Sorry, Steph!)
We used to do a five minute writing exercise at the end of every meeting. Back then, there were usually only two or three of us at a meeting instead of six. Critiques took a lot less time. Also, as we've gotten to know each other better, we usually have too much to say about each other's work and chat too much about other stuff to have any time left over. The other night I swear the staff at Panera were circling our table, trying to hint that we should wrap it up, but we were still offering comments to Joan on her latest chapter.
Anyway, I'm keeping the original sign. It's a great reminder of how and where we began, and how far we've come, even on the days it doesn't feel like that.