Goodbye Writers Group: Round 2


Yesterday I blogged extensively about my departure from my writing group. To clarify, I was kicked out. I will preface this post (as I did with yesterday’s entry) that this story is my side and filled with my opinion. I’m sure the owner of the meetup sees it differently.

I left off yesterday’s entry with the e-mail I was sent by the groups owner. I feel he does have valid reasons for not wanting me in the group. Because I felt the situation was delicate, I thought long and hard about the reply I would send. Not to ruin the outcome, but it did no good. I might as well have typed an e-mail to my dog. His mind was already made up and there was nothing I could do about it.

Before I post my response, I want to give you some personality background on the owner. All his submissions have a ‘copyright’ entry on the header. I’m not really sure why. Additionally he made the submission process pretty complicated if you don’t have the e-mail addresses of those attending.

Here’s where the frustration brews. The last meetup I did attend, I didn’t have the e-mail addresses for everyone who was going. I sent the following e-mail:

**Name removed,

Do you have the e-mail addresses of everyone coming next week? i’d like to send my submission directly to them.

Thanks.

-Aaron

I got a reply shortly thereafter of:

Aaron,

I don’t release people’s email addresses without their
permission. There’s only one other person signed
up besides you and me who’ll be attending.
When you send your stuff to me, I’ll send
a copy along to him.

Glad to hear you’ve got something coming.

Fantastic, I thought. The next month when I was in the same situation (different people were coming) I asked for him to forward my work on. I was met with a different reply:

Here is my submission. Can you please forward it to all who are attending?

Thanks.

-Aaron

His reply:

Aaron,

1) You can use the group mailing list to send your manuscript.
Instructions for using the mailing list are on the Meetup.com site. Simply log in and go to the group’s home page.

2) You can obtain individual email addresses from group members if you want to send you manuscript that way. I tried, and could not
obtain individual email addresses from **name removed and **name removed.

3) I’ve decided not to assume personal responsibility for forwarding manuscripts to every member of the group.

Hope that helps.

Just a quick clarification that option 1 sends my work to everyone, not just people attending the meetup. I don’t want to send my work to everyone and spam them. I also don’t want to send it to just anyone since I don’t know who they are. Option 2 doesn’t really work if I have no way to contact the person.

Option 3 is the kicker. You gotta love it.

So without further delay, here is my response from the owners e-mail that I posted about yesterday:

Thanks for e-mailing me. Perhaps if I explain the reasons things
happened the way they did, it may clear some things up.

First, I had every intention of making it yesterday for the meet-up.
I had both yours and Mary’s work read and comments written down. I
had purchased my tickets with my mother’s frequent flyer miles and
because the names weren’t the same on the tickets, the airline gave me
problems with putting tickets in my name. I was to be back in New
York as of 2:00 pm yesterday, which would have given me plenty of time
to make it. Unfortunately, I didn’t get back until 10 this morning.

Secondly, because I was not home, I had limited access to my e-mail
and internet, only through my phone. The ability to send my work out
was limited to only re-sending my submission from last month that
didn’t get used. Unfortunately, a side-affect of this is that it
includes everything else from the original message. If I could have
removed everything except the attachment, I would have, but doing this
all on a cell phone is extremely difficult and limiting. If Mary was
confused, she did not reply to me at all or ask me if I had sent
something in error. I had no reason to believe she would have been
confused. Also, you made no mention of it until now, when the e-mail
was sent days ago. I would have gladly explained anything to you or
answer and questions if they had been asked. Is it only a problem
because I wasn’t able to make the meet-up?

I understand that my decision to not attend last month may not have
been for the best reasons, and I apologize if you were offended in any
way. That was not my intention. I do agree that me not coming does
take up a seat that should be available, but at the same time last
month’s and this past meetup were not even 50% filled. Additionally,
I do apologize for taking up time you put into reading and critiquing
my work. I know the effort and time it takes to read submissions and
I agree it was wrong of me to do that.

I feel that this writers group is a good one and that this is a fun
group to be a part of. The overall goal is to have a good time and
‘talk shop’ with other writers. I would hope that a hobby and
side-activity we all feel passionate about is something that could
remain fun and also remain something I can be a part of.

Bottom line: This whole thing is supposed to be fun and not work.

Thanks.

-Aaron

Stay tuned for more of the shenannigans!

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