Tag: feedback

What Participants Say About the Online Roundtable

The Online Roundtable groups are so enriching and helpful to my growth as a writer. With the ability to post and critique work in advance, Kim is able to facilitate our discussions with greater depth and insight. There is often a strong craft element worked into each group session, based on some of the material we are reviewing. I learn something valuable in each session — whether it’s from the discussion of my piece, or someone else’s. To my surprise, the group camaraderie develops online in much the same way as in an in-person group. And, the highlight has to be Kim. She is both a strong facilitator and great editor, coach and writer. She guides us to think about our work in new ways through skillful questions. If you want to move your work to the next level, I strongly recommend these online groups. ~ Pam Parker (Editor, Done Darkness, and guest columnist to the Washington Post, ““I survived cancer. Why am I so sad?”)
Here’s what I love about my Online Roundtable experience: fresh eyes on my work, a supportive environment, honest feedback, and a deadline for my next piece.
Thank you to Red Oak Writing for making this possible! ~Mike Weber
Kim has merged the valuable experience of critique groups at the table into the virtual world with this new online opportunity. The format of sharing work online allows for the same thorough feedback by writing peers, and the in-person meeting via video grants space for even deeper discussion of the work as a whole. As a person unable to attend Roundtables in person for the last few years, I missed the camaraderie and critique, and I was thrilled to participate in the online group–a perfect fit for someone with time or distance constraints but with a desire to work closely with other writers.~Christi Craig
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The online class feels surprisingly intimate-  maybe due to the in-depth approach to the work. I found greater insights in the overall approach to craft as well as detail. Great class for those trying to take their writing to the next step. ~Laurel Landis
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Online Writers’ Roundtable

Now, get the helpful feedback and collegial support of our Roundtables without leaving your house!

online rtUsing a method inspired by our face-to-face Roundtables, you will give and receive written (typed) feedback as well as participate in four 1.5 hr real-time conversations with your group mates.

May – August 2018 Series (waiting list)

Deadlines for Uploading Work

(12 pm Central Time on the following Wednesdays)

May 16, June 20, July 18, Aug 15


Real-Time Online Hangouts 

(7 – 8:30 pm, Central Time on the 4th Wednesday of each month)

May 23, June 27, July 25, August 22


$120 per series (4 session/series)*

Register Using Pay Pal


Register by Mail: Complete our Online Registration Form and send check to Red Oak Writing, PO Box 342, Genesee Depot, WI 53127


Current Online 6-Session Roundtable Series

Jan – May 2018 Series

Deadlines for Uploading Work  

(12 pm Central Time on the following Wednesdays)

Jan 10 & 31, Feb 21, Mar 14, Apr 4 & 25

Real-Time Online Hangouts

(7-8:30 Central Time on the following Wednesdays)

Jan 17, Feb 7 & 28, Mar 21, Apr 11, May 2

Some logistics:

  • 6 writers for each 6-session series (small group means deeper, more focused comments)
  • Meet in a real-time Google Hangout one week after upload date
  • One week prior to each Hangout, participants share a Googledoc of their work (2,500 words max) so others can post comments before we “meet” in the Hangout
  • Allot approximately 15-20 minutes to commenting on each piece prior to our Hangout time.
  • Attendance at the real-time Hangouts is mandatory (with dispensation for one absence per session if absolutely necessary). It is important for written/verbal feedback to be even and equitable. No fair taking written feedback and not providing conversation on others’ pieces.
  • The verbal portion/real-time Hangout will be topic driven. (I will suggest aspects of craft for deeper exploration.)  When we have finished discussing the piece, the writer will have a few minutes to ask follow-up questions or make a comment.

*Prerequisite: Previous participation in our face-to-face Roundtables OR the equivalent. (If you have never been in a Roundtable or workshop group, please contact Kim Suhr 414.881.7276 or kim@redoakwriting.com to discuss your experience with giving and receiving critique.)

Technology Requirements:

Gmail account and familiarity with Googledocs and Google Hangouts

Highspeed internet connection

Webcam and mic

What Participants Say About Online Roundtables

About the Facilitator:

KIM SUHR is the author of Maybe I’ll Learn: Snapshots of a Novice Mom and director of Red Oak Writing. Her work has appeared in many journals, most recently at Midwest Review, the Stonecoast Review and Solstice Lit. In addition, her writing has earned  awards from the Wisconsin Writers’ Association’s Jade Ring and Lindemann Humor Contests. You can listen to Kim read her work at WUWM 89.7 on the Lake Effect Program. She holds an MFA from the Solstice program at Pine Manor College where she was the Dennis Lehane Fellow in Fiction. To learn more about her writing, visit kimsuhr.com.

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All My Expectations Were Met and Exceeded

I recently took advantage of Kim’s Manuscript Critique Service, and I must recommend it to all my fellow writers. Kim’s was the most comprehensive critic I have received on my writing: plot, dialogue, narrative, point of view, spelling, type-o’s, grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, scene structure, character development, formatting. You name. I got it.

This was what I call a deep critique. All my expectations were met and exceeded.

The single most important aspect of the critique was the feedback I received on plot that can only be obtained when a critic reads the entire novel. For the first time, I got important notes on how the plot unfolded, its strengths and weaknesses, where logic failed, and where plot points were unclear, or needed beefing up.

In addition to the internal corrections and comments made using the review function in Word, I really appreciated the handwritten pages of global comments. This method made editing much easier for me. I could make grammar and spelling corrections on the first pass and rewrites on the second pass. I thoroughly appreciated the many positive comments, too.

At last, I feel confident enough to submit to agents and publishers. Thank you, Kim!


~Jennifer Rupp

Author of The Oath, blogging at Full Scottish Breakfast

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Manuscript Critique Service

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Every day, I work with writers like you: toiling away alone at a desk, hoping to make your writing dreams come true. You know it takes many drafts to make your writing sing, and you’re willing to do the hard work of revision. You have what it takes.

But you could also use a little help.

Maybe you’re looking for the insight of a thorough and trusted reader who can reflect back to you what is working and what just plain needs work in your manuscript. Someone with enough distance to be objective, while offering suggestions to push your writing to the next level.

You’ve come to the right place.

About Me

As Director of Red Oak Writing, I lead Roundtable critique groups, work one-on-one with individual writers and present writing workshops on various aspects of craft and publishing. I am a teacher at heart (with many years of experience), so I see my relationship with writers as being a mentor rather than a critic. I want to help them learn not only how to improve the piece before us, but how they can apply these skills to their future writing. I want to help them understand why something works (or doesn’t) and how they might go about revising. (If you’re looking for someone who is simply going to “fix” your work, you might want to hire a freelance editor.)

Of course, I am a writer, too. My fiction has appeared in various literary journals, and a collection of my essays titled, Maybe I’ll Learn: Snapshots of a Novice Mom, was published in 2012. My second book, a collection of short stories, Nothing to Lose & Other Stories, is out in the world looking for a publishing home. I earned my MFA from Pine Manor College in Boston. During my free time, I enjoy working in the garden, reading (naturally) and spending time outdoors with my family.

What I critique:

I critique only prose manuscripts written for adult readers:

  • Fiction (long or short form)
  • Creative Nonfiction
  • Essay
  • Article
  • Memoir
  • MFA Application Materials
  • Masters Theses
  • Query Letters/Book Proposals/Synopses


What is provided:

  • A detailed letter pointing out the aspects of the manuscript that are working well and big-picture suggestions for making the writing stronger.
  • Written annotations within the manuscript. I think of this as “having a conversation” with the piece, in which I show the writer what I am thinking as I read.
  • One email exchange for clarification or suggestions for next steps.

While I do not do line edits, I may point out distracting grammatical/mechanical errors I notice.

How to Submit:

Please contact me before sending a manuscript. (Unsolicited manuscripts will be returned unread.)

In your query email, please share the following information:

  • Your name & contact info including email address and phone number
  • Title and genre
  • First three pages
  • Number of pages you would like to submit (1 page = 250 words)
  • Whether it is complete or a portion of a longer work (Sometimes critique of an excerpt is all you need.)
  • Where you are in the process: for example, first draft with no other readers, draft that has been workshopped and revised, near-final draft you are preparing for submission/self-publishing, etc.
  • Areas on which you’d like me to focus
  • Information about time frame (Are you working under a deadline?)
  • Anything else you’d like me to know before we work together?

If it seems we will be a good fit, I will send a Letter of Agreement outlining the services I will provide and instructions for paying in advance.

Next, you will send a Word doc of your manuscript, and I’ll get to work.

Time frame: Depending upon the length of the manuscript and my schedule, I should be able to complete most manuscripts within 1-2 weeks’ time. The conditions in the Letter of Agreement will state the time frame explicitly.

Fees: $50 for up to 10 pages (1 page = 250 words) and $5/page thereafter. You may pay using Pay Pal or by check.

A Word About Rights: As a writer myself, I deeply respect the sanctity of others’ original work. The copyright for your original material always resides with you, just as my comments about your work reside with me. (Please do not reproduce my editorial comments or suggestions without my written permission.)

Right of Refusal: I cannot accept every request I receive either because of my schedule or because I don’t believe I’m the right person for the project. If I must decline your project, I will try to make suggestions for other possibilities.

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Rx for Writers’ Groups

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Has your writers’ group hit a plateau? Are you looking for a way to take your writing to the next level? Would you like fresh approaches to giving and receiving feedback?

Whether your group is just starting out or you have been together for years, you can benefit from the observations and guidance of an objective, experienced eye. Red Oak Director and Roundtable Leader, Kim Suhr, can tailor the session to your group’s needs. Some possible activities include:

  • helping you set group and individual goals
  • modeling different approaches to feedback
  • sharing techniques for improving your critiquing skills
  • observing the group’s process & suggesting ways to make it stronger and more efficient
  • demonstrating Red Oak’s approach & helping you find ways to tweak it to match your needs
  • other (addressing issues specific to your group)

To set up a session, call Kim at 414.881.7276

Fee: $150 for one 2.5 hour session
(for up to 6 writers. Plus $25 for each additional writer.)
Kim Suhr 2Kim Suhr is Director of Red Oak Writing and author of Maybe I’ll Learn: Snapshots of a Novice Mom. She will receive her MFA in fiction from Pine Manor College in January, 2015. Her work has appeared at Grey Sparrow Journal, Full of Crow and Staccato Fiction as well as earning awards from the Wisconsin Writers Association’s Jade Ring and Lindemann Humor Contests. To learn more about her writing, visit kimsuhr.com 


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