Amidst rumors of 15-mile freeway backups, many participants set out tentatively to last weekend's Great Critique in Olympia, only to arrive early at the Evergreen State College campus on a pristine late summer morning, ready to share a few pages of their latest project. The soothing breeze blowing in from the north served everyone well as the sun heated things to a perfect 75 degrees.
By noon most everyone had arrived and small knots of people conversed noisily while seated on lawn chairs or plastic and steel numbers provided by the college. They brought brown-bag lunches, potluck desserts, sandwiches and fresh veggies, or Starbucks drinks to prepare for soul-baring critiquing.
At 1:00 p.m., organizer Tony Dorrough introduced faculty members and then each group split off. “One group disappeared down a flight of concrete steps and behind a building, another found the shade of an exquisite tree, and still another climbed a manicured bluff overlooking all of the others,” says Tony. “My group decided to hang fairly close to others that remained in the college’s famed Red Square. We spent the rest of the afternoon in idyllic conditions, surrounded by the park-like scenery and summer smells, listening to stories, and discussing illustrations and layouts. It was a sunny slice of writer heaven, and I can't wait for next year.”
Among the positive feedback the event received afterward was this comment, “Thank you for putting together a really great critique. I've been to quite a few, but have not enjoyed any as much as I did ours today. I got very valid and useful feedback. And it was fun.”