Ad Hoc Writers
Ad Hoc, Ad Astra, Ad Draconus

Our History:

The Ad Hoc Writers evolved from a science fiction/fantasy writing class that Elizabeth Lynn gave in the fall of 1980 at the U. C. Berkeley Extension Center in San Francisco. In a moment of weakness, class member Jan Costello circulated a sign-up sheet for those interested in continuing to meet after classes were over. Most of those present signed the list.

In November of 1980, Jan wrote to the interested persons and set up the first meeting on Saturday, January 10, 1981. There were ten of us on the earliest membership lists. There are now about 25 on our mailing list (which includes some other writing groups). The usual attendance is about six to ten.

In the early days of the group, there was considerable talk of choosing a name for the group. Meanwhile Jan's newsletters continued to appear with "Ad Hoc" at the top, dating from Jan's early title, "Ad Hoc Society of Aspiring and/or Struggling Writers of Science Fiction," and the motto, "Ad Hoc Ad Astra". Now we remain the Ad Hoc Society by default.

From the beginning the group has been on the informal side. We usually meet every three weeks on Saturday afternoons, from 1 to 5 P.M. The meetings rotate among the member's homes, which range from San Francisco in the north through San Jose in the south. We share refreshments while criticizing manuscripts and discussing matters of interest to writers. Though our main interest is in the fantasy/science fiction genre, we will look stories and novels in any genre.

Manuscripts may be mailed out to members or handed out at meetings for critique at the following meeting. The author must "grin and bear it" as the members tell their likes and dislikes of the work in question. After all have had their say, the author may respond to the comments.

Note that we are serious about our writing. We do our best to constructively criticize the work at hand and not the author. Members of the Ad Hoc Writers do not offer praise unless we feel it is truly justified.

Ad Hoc has developed a set of outlines for aid in building characters, worlds, societies, etc. These are available to Ad Hoc members free of charge. We may also make these available to others. Also, we have a number of members with computer skills who can help with word-processing software and hardware.

After the meeting is over at 5 P.M., some of the group may extend the day with a visit to a local fast food emporium, movie or book store, all in the name of research, of course.

We feel that the success of our group rests on several factors, among them the informality of the group, our many shared interests and our ability to help and encourage each other in developing our writing skills.

Membership is informal, but we do ask that members contribute to the costs of postage and printing of our newsletter, as well as our subscription to The Gila Queen's Guide to Markets. See the Procedures Section for more information.

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Copyright ©1996-2007 by Jim R. Van Scyoc

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