About the Mountain Scribes

Purpose and Goals

The Mountain Scribes is an invitation-only secret Facebook group that meets in person on a bi-weekly basis. Our purpose is to lend support and encouragement to help people take their writing from penciled notes to published works. Our goals include:

  • Providing constructive feedback as needed or invited
  • Working to polish our individual writing styles
  • Sharing ideas and perspectives on member submissions

Membership

As all members in the group are writers, they are expected to treat each other with professionalism in regards to giving feedback about creative works. Members are responsible for:

  • Protecting the creative rights of their fellow members
  • Never submitting any form of plagiarized work
  • Maintaining activity within the group as schedules allow
  • Providing constructive feedback for member submissions
  • New member requests require admin approval through the Facebook group. The group is invitation-only with the intention of keeping a small number of members to avoid becoming so social that it detracts from the purpose of the group

Click here for a current list of Mountain Scribes members.

Meetings

  • The Mountain Scribes will meet every other Tuesday (with adjustments for holidays) as announced through the Facebook group’s events feature. All changes and updates regarding the event will be announced through the Facebook event page.
  • Meetings will alternate between various writing tools to help inspire and encourage group members. These include, but are not limited to: writing prompts, work-in-progress submissions, themed discussions, etc.
  • Meetings may be canceled in the event of inclement weather (or closing of Jefferson County Public Schools for inclement weather).
  • Visitors, both potential new members and guest speakers, are welcome to attend. Potential new members will benefit from a Facebook account to receive official notices of upcoming meetings, etc.

A typical meeting will loosely follow this sample agenda:

  • Welcome
  • Brief status and progress updates
  • Feedback for submitted works
  • Discussion about the next event
  • Adjournment
  • Submissions
  • Discussion re: the next meeting

The Mountain Scribes consists primarily of fiction writers. Therefore submissions should focus on genres of fiction and creative non-fiction in prose format, e.g. novels, novellas, shorts, scripts, flash fiction, and so forth.

When submitting work, please include the following information:

  • Title
  • Your name
  • Word count (less than 5,000 words if possible)
  • Genre
  • Rating (for mature content)
  • Mature content, in this case, means no pornographic or erotica material. Tasteful adult content is acceptable as long as it enhances the storyline. (i.e. We’re not a 50 shades of anything writing group.)

Members submit works through the shared Google Drive folder. Turning in a submission 5 to 7 days before a meeting gives members more time to read it. Consecutive re-submission is allowed provided there is a reason – like too few critiques, significant change.

If a member submits something and cannot attend the next meeting, the group will hold discussion about that piece until the next meeting when the writer can attend.

Confidentiality

All submissions to the group are owned by their creator. We implement both confidentiality and non-disclosure.

A shared URL grants access, so please do not share any URL you are given with anyone outside the group. In the event that your access to the internet is compromised (e.g. a hacked computer) then please notify the group as soon as possible via the group Facebook page.

Seriously – nobody wants to see Anonymous Panda, Anonymous Zebra, and Anonymous Blue-footed Booby looking over their shoulder as they read the Google document which contains the submission.

Feedback and Critique

No member is obligated to read, give feedback on, or critique a submission at any time, ever. Sometimes non-writing things in life take priority. We’re okay with that and happy to encourage and support you through those times.

There is a definite line between critiquing and editing. If someone is drastically editing your work, then essentially they are rewriting it. That is not a critique. This blog article from Daily Writing Tips sums it up really well:

Concerns

If at any time a member has concerns about the group, its members, or its direction, then the issue should be taken up with one of the Facebook group administrators or in-person at a group meeting.