The following is based on a true story.
The Fictionists was founded by WD Blackmon, chair of the English department at (Southwest) Missouri State University in the 90's. At the time, it was primarily as a group of faculty writers, and the submissions were printed in quanitities of 30 or more, and mailed to the group's members. This is how things used to be done, which is important to remember every time you start hating your email inbox.
Over the years, the group has gathered in a menagerie of venues, and boasted a wide variety of members, from ambitious authorial aspirants to wizened world-traveled wordsmiths.
Now that we're caught up...
Today, we meet once a month in the comfortable and intellectually stimulating Arts Library, at Springfield's Creamery Arts Center. All participants are emailed copies of that month's submissions, usually 2-3 weeks in advance of our gathering date.
The submissions are short, generally about 20 pages in length, to allow participants time to edit the text and/or ruminate about the best type of advice they can offer the submitter. Every participant is different, but everyone is asked to be respectfully honest and as helpful as possible. It can be frightening the first time you submit your work for honest review, but soon you'll find you're among friends, and everyone wants everyone else to be the best writer he or she can be.
How do I join?
There is no official membership, only an email list by which the submissions are distributed each month. And attendance at the monthly gatherings is free (although preparation and participation are expected.) Please contact us if you would like to be included in that email list.
What does it cost?
Our activities are virtually expenseless, however there are some costs involved. These include the $50 annual dues f0r our Springfield Regional Arts Council membership, which allows us to use the Arts Library for no additional fee. Then there are a few small expenses involved with maintaining this website, and web domain. That is why we request a $5 donation to the group each time a submission is accepted for review. Any funds received which are not spent by the end of the year will go toward food and drink for our annual Christmas party.