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Bylaws of The 6' Ferret Writers' Group

NOTE: Following are the Bylaws of The 6' Ferret Writers' Group. They may seem very formal, but our group is actually quite relaxed. The purpose of our Bylaws is to let potential new members know that we are serious about our writing, and that we expect a certain level of dedication to the group from all of our members. Our group is for fiction writers, but these Bylaws can be adapted to suit any writers' group.


The 6' Ferret Writers' Group was founded in 1989 to foster the development of local authors' work through honest but fair criticism; to provide encouragement and inspiration to those authors as they write and submit their work for publication; and to provide a support network for those authors. While there are no fees or dues, The 6' Ferret Writers' Group does require a serious commitment. Members must be willing to participate fully in the group's activities, and to give as much as they receive. Strong membership participation is the reason the group has thrived since 1989, and new members are expected to carry on that tradition.

Membership Requirements:

  • Members must be working seriously on fiction, either a novel or short stories.
  • Members must be actively pursuing publication.
  • Members must be able to take criticism of their work, and give effective criticism of others' work.
  • Members must be able to consistently attend the meetings.

Meeting Scheduling:

  • The 6' Ferret Writers' Group meets one evening every other week, from 7:00 p.m. until approximately 9:00 p.m.
  • Meeting schedules are to be set in January of each year, with changes approved by the group.
  • If all members cannot read their work at a single meeting due to group size, schedules shall include designated readers. In the case that designated readers have nothing to read for their scheduled night, they must change reading nights with other members, if at all possible.
  • Meeting locations shall be set to accommodate all members; driving distances will be equally divided among members whenever possible.

Meeting Structure:

  • Before the start of each meeting, all members must report their past 2 weeks' writing activity. One member shall be assigned the duty of taking down the reports.
  • Each member will bring multiple copies of his or her work to be discussed. Each member may bring up to 10 pages for group discussion. If time permits, this number may be higher. The member will read the piece aloud to the group, and it will be critiqued immediately following the reading. All copies are to be returned with written comments to the writer.
  • Criticism must be fair, and reasons for the critique provided.
  • Meetings must stay on the subject of writing. If anyone gets off on a tangent, members should politely redirect the discussion to writing.

Member Expectations:

  • Each member should attempt to have something written for each scheduled meeting/reading date. If the member does not have something written, he or she is still expected to attend the meeting to provide critiques.
  • If a member cannot attend a meeting, he or she must notify another member of his/her absence.
  • When a member completes a full draft of a novel, he or she may request that group members critique it outside of the meetings.

Addition of New Members:

  • New members may be introduced to the group by any active member, must be approved by all current group members, and must meet all membership requirements.


  • Annual Retreat: Attendance is encouraged, but not required. Members attending are expected to devote the entire retreat to writing and participation in group writing exercises.
  • Halloween: A theme is usually chosen and ideas drawn for use in Halloween stories to be written and read at the annual party. Participation is required.
  • Novels Days: Attendance is encouraged, but not required. Members attending are expected to devote the entire day to writing.
  • Christmas Dinner: Attendance is encouraged, but not required. If stories are to be written, participation is required for those attending.


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