We've had an informal form of the 'Shred' running for years. It was quite active for a while on the old site but petered out on the new site, replaced by specialist dedicated and independent groups of interest.
It is a great tool and I think it is a wonderful idea to formalise the principle into a group here and now. From previous experience I feel a writer can learn an awful lot from a warts and all review.
In my opinion, the reviews can be brutally honest but they should always be objective rather than subjective. To be given corrective advice and opinion upon grammar, plot and good practice is great but there were always those who'd feel compelled to change a author's voice into their own and insist a story should be written and delivered in the style of their own hand.
The good thing about the 'Shred' being a group is that it has it's dedicated forum, because this kind of reviewing quickly turns into a discussion. The forum allows for interaction in terms of expansion, explanation and debate.
Authors shouldn't worry too much about the harshness of reviewing because reviewers who are subjectively over-zealous, pedantic, petty/officious, authoritative or unfair will be exposing themselves rather than the work they critique . Writers should enter their work in order for it to get it ripped, but fairly and squarely in a totally objective and mature professional manner.
Very exciting! Thanks Sol. I feel this may strengthen the pulse of the site.