In January 2004, Ellen Spain, active in PennWriters' since 1991, in Area 3 (SW PA). started the Pittsburgh East Writer's as a (pro bono) support and educational group for PennWriters' members in all genres, residing in Pittsburgh's eastern suburbs to Greensburg. Later, Ellen opened membership into the Pittsburgh East Writers to the public. In addition to the monthly group critique sessions, Ellen has been offering free writers' workshops at the library to the public for the past eight years. Workshop details are posted to this site. In 2012, Ellen stepped down as Coordinator due to her heavy work schedule as an Editor, a Writer, and her non-profit volunteer duties. She appointed her Assistant Coordinator, Chuck Rakiecz, a member of PennWriters' and SF/Mystery writer, to the Coordinator position. Ellen will continue to handle the PR and Programs as the Assistant Coordinator.
All genre fiction manuscripts, including memoir writing, that you want critiqued should be works in progress, not published works. You should first proof your own manuscript for spelling and punctuation errors before presenting it to the group. If you want your manuscript to be line edited, check the Yellow Pages for Proofreaders and Editorial Services. The members review your manuscript during the round-table meeting on the above Critique Elements. Please state your writing's title, chapter number, and a one minute synopsis about your manuscript before reading your manuscript to the group. It is recommended that you let someone else read it and you listen to what is read as another method for you to self-edit. A piece is reviewed no more than twice by the group, but members are completely free to review each other's work in depth outside the monthly sessions. Reviewing services are expected to be reciprocal. A writer who wants work reviewed must also review work presented by other writers.
You should make six copies, up to ten double-spaced pages, for the group to critique. These are passed out to members who review them according to the Critique Elements and return comments in writing if possible at the end of the author's reading. Each person at the table gives comments without interruption, first stating what was positive about the story before critiquing on the nine points. The author then discusses the comments and a general discussion can follow if time permits.
To join the Pittsburgh East Writer's critique group, send your name, telephone number, writing experience including memberships in other writer's groups, your current genre interests, and your publications, to Dr. Ellen Spain at DuckIslandMaine@aol.com. Please write PW-PghEast and your name in the Subject line.
Meetings are held the third Saturday of each month at the Monroeville Public Library and begin at 10:00 AM and end before 1:00 PM. Schedule is posted below.
There are no dues to belong to the Pittsburgh East Writer's and being a member of PennWriters' is not mandatory but highly suggested or a membership into a professional writer's group like RWA, Sisters in Crime, PARSEC or HWA, EPIC, MUSE, and others. Thus far, Ellen has underwritten all costs involved in presenting the workshops and reimbursing guest speakers. Please note that tuition will be included in future workshops. Ellen shares information on writing and the publishing field electronically with the regularly attending members via the "PW Pgh East Writer's E-BULLET newsletter".
If the weather is bad, use your judgment about the safety of traveling to the library. Certainly staying safe is more important than attending a meeting. When in doubt play it safe.
PennWriters' Inc. www.pennwriters.org is a 501(c)3 organization and is established to :