Stockholm Writers Group Remembers Marti G. Parker

Marti G. Parker was a founding member of the Stockholm Writers Group and was active in it from 1994 to 2015. Marti was born in upper New York state but spent much of her childhood in Alaska. In the 1970s, she came to Sweden and worked as a nurse’s aide, physical therapist, and English teacher before studying social work. Eventually she became a professor of social gerontology at the Aging Research Center of Karolinska Institutet, where she researched the daily lives of old people.

“It’s not surprising that one or two old people always find their ways into my stories,” Marti said. She published two novels under the pseudonym Martha Gale, Knowing Place and Knowing Past.

Marti died in 2017 following a long illness. Her warmth, generosity, and honesty continue to motivate the Stockholm Writers Group.

An anthology on Marti’s recurring themes of aging, death, and foreignness will be published by the Group in the spring of 2019. The anthology will include pieces by Marti G. Parker and others, primarily current and former members of SWG.

Potential questions to consider when critiquing

by Cas Blomberg

  1. What works well with this piece? What stands out? 

  2. How do you feel about the dialogue? Was it authentic? Engaging? 

  3. Did each character project a unique voice? 

  4. Did each character's motivations stand out?  

  5. Which character did you identify with the most and why? 

  6. How do you feel about the level of depth in the characters? 

  7. Which three words would you use to describe the protagonist? Or antagonist? 

  8. Did you trust the narrator? Was he or she consistent throughout the piece? 

  9. What did you think about the balance between exposition, dialogue, and action? 

  10. Do you think the structure works? Did the scenes lead into each other?

  11. Were any events out of order, and if so, did that work? 

  12. Did you feel as if any scenes were missing? 

  13. Did you know where the story was going? 

  14. What was your favorite scene or line? 

  15. How did you feel about the tension the author created? Did you want more, less, or was it perfect? 

  16. Which themes could you identify in the piece? 

  17. Did you pick up on any symbolism? Do you think it adds to, or detracts from, the story?

  18. Which sensory details spoke to you the most? 

  19. Did the narrator reveal too much information? 

  20. What did you think of the pacing? Too fast? Not enough time to breathe? Perfect? Too slow? 

  21. What would you like to see more of?