I have signed up for a 7 week writer’s group hosted by a published author that I am a fan of.
There are five other students in the class and we will be critiquing each other’s work. Would EE care to offer any pearls of wisdom on how to provide feedback to writers? Of course I’ll be modeling my behavior on your examples from the blog but is there any advice you could provide explicitly?
Also, any advice on ingratiating myself to the author? I’m going for an easy A and access to her network of contacts in the publishing industry.
The 1st thing you need to do is figure out how many of the other students think they're the smartest person in the class. Those people won't listen to your comments, except for the ones in which you praise them effusively, so start by praising them effusively, but then tell them they'll never make it as a writer because no agent will want to work with a narcissistic ass.
The other writers will probably only respect the opinion of the published author, so agree with whatever the author says, especially if they're arguing with one of the writers. This may ingratiate you. A better way to ingratiate yourself (and get that "A") is to sign up for the author's follow-up course.
The only way the author will give you access to their network of contacts is if you produce stellar writing. But not so stellar that the author fears you'll become more famous than they are.