The Dread Writers Alliance

Workshops  |  Critique Groups  |  Mentoring


The Dread Writers Alliance (DWA) is The Dread Machine’s official support group for writers of science fiction, dark fiction, and speculative fiction. Membership is exclusive to Cultists and Mechanists.

Participating Members can expect to gain constructive feedback on their work and be held accountable for hitting deadlines. We’re not a particularly stringent or serious group, however. We prefer to keep our things casual and fun so writing and participating in our events won’t feel like a stressful chore.

How It Works

Each month, members will drop their stories into our shared Drive folder, where they will receive commentary and critique from the other members. Participating members are expected to provide feedback on the stories submitted by other members.


1.) Participating Members are required to submit stories and provide weekly critiques. Attending other events is entirely optional, but highly recommended.

2.) Criticism must be specific, constructive, and respectful. Cite specifics and be sure to be as generous with positive feedback as you are negative.

3.) If you receive criticism that you disagree with, keep it to yourself. Please remember that you’re here to become a better writer. You’ve joined because you want the assistance of other members.

4.) Do not disparage Kazoo Kid. We will not tolerate anyone who mocks our official mascot, Kazoo Kid. We like to sing, dance, pretend, and have fun fun fun fun FUN FUN FUN!

WEekly Events

Sprint & Submit
Sunday, 7PM EST

All members are welcome to join in during our hour-long sprint from 7pm-8pm. Attendance isn’t mandatory, however, if it’s your turn to submit, your story is due by midnight—no excuses, buddy.

Read & Review

The story of the week will be up and ready for member review and critique. Check out each one, give them a careful read, and leave your feedback as a comment. Remember to be thorough and constructive.

Critique & Commiserate
Thursday, 7pm EST

Bust out your booze. Tonight, we support each other and talk shop during our live meeting in our dedicated Discord channel. During this meeting, we’ll outline goals and priorities for the following week.

Chat & Conspire
All Day, Every Day

Join us in our Discord, where you can find other writers and (at least one of our editors) to talk to. Ask for help, solicit feedback, or find an accountability partner!

Upcoming Meetings

July 8th: CMOS

What is Chicago style? What makes it so important? Can adhering to it help your story get accepted? How can you ensure your manuscripts conform to it? Resident CMOS expert, Alin, will answer all these questions and more on Thursday.

August 5th: Resolving Tracked Changes

As a writer, you’ll be expected to know how to use MS Word, the most popular word processing software in the publishing industry. Learn what tracked changes are and how to resolve them.

This meeting will also mark the beginning of Spontaneous Human Combustion Awareness Month. We will spend time reflecting on the combustibility of human flesh and discussing various ways to avoid bursting into flame.

September 2nd: Slush Pile Dos and Donts

What does it take to grab an editor’s attention and stand out in the slush pile? How can you hedge your bets? Should you reply to personal rejections?

How to Participate

We don’t require any documentation, credentials, professional accomplishments, accolades, references, or resumes.

1.) Subscribe. DWA Membership is exclusively available to paying subscribers.

2.) Join Our Discord server.

3.) After joining our Discord server, Summon the Elder Gods (@Elder Gods). We’ll verify your subscription, grant you access to the DWA channels, and initiate the traditional New Member celebration rituals.

Stay informed