Second announcement: If there's anyone interested in joining the Lucky Labs, contact me.
No no, not The Who, Lucky Labs, aka the Lucky Lab Rats. This writing group has historically gotten members via OryCon schmoozing (this was news to me even though that's exactly how I was invited) but after pub food and some hat whacking the consensus, as I understand it, is that I can ask my beloved INK members if they'd like to join.
*Write speculative fiction. SF/F/H or genres that make wet, intimate contact with SF/F/H only, please. If you don't write it, read it, love it, you won't like how the Rats smell.
*Meet every three weeks.
*Want people who want to learn how to write better, get published more often (in my case, more times than zero,) critique better, and who won't cry if Jim tells them their story is crap. If everyone says your story is crap it's okay to cry but you have to hold it in and say you need to use the bathroom, and be sure to wash your face before you come back.
*Want people who submit writing on a regular basis, and who write on a regular basis. (Hat whacking and virtual finger pointing over this issue occurred during the meeting.)
*Want stuff I don't know about because I'm a new-ish member.
*Want world peace.
I've observed that a thick skin is helpful with the Lab Rats. They're never cruel or mean, but they tell it like they see it. If that includes "scrap this one and write something else," you'll hear it, maybe even in those exact words. I've also observed that the Lab Rats are inclusive rather than exclusive. They're all about the writing. And the publishing. And the improving.
In the past a former member repeatedly submitted a first chapter to a novel, hoping to polish it into white rice, I suspect. The fact that they started with a potato probably wasn't helping. Anyway, it inspired a rule--six months between re-submitting same material. It's generally a good idea to keep writing and submitting new stuff to keep from inspiring more rules.
We discussed a member cap. Because we don't seem to be overwhelmed with submissions the consensus was that there is no member cap until we need one. If that makes sense.
Anyway, after the rats get a membership story sub we discuss it at the next super-secret meeting at the Lucky Labs pub on Hawthorne at 2pm (next meetings are June 7 and June 28) and then the idea is that the prospective member comes to the nearest following meeting they can attend to critique whatever's on the table and hear the critiques. If they don't run away screaming and everyone is good, we end up with a new member.
So send me an ms if you want to play with rats and, since this isn't being done at an OryCon schmoozing session, it may be helpful to the Lucky Labs if you include a wee bit about yourself and your writing goals. This isn't a cover letter thingy by any means. We're not that formal (as evidenced by puns, sarcasm and other bad habits.) I'd just tell them about you guys myself but then I'd feel weird like I'm pitching you. Not the stuff that comes from trees, or throwing you like a baseball, the other pitching. No, not throwing you in the garbage! Oh, I give up.