There are many formats in which critique groups can operate. Much of how they are run depends on the size of the group, whether they meet face to face or online, and the level of writing expertise among their members. As each group forms, the way it operates will evolve. It will vary with the aims and needs of its members.
For three years I have been a member of a small group that meets monthly at our local library. Over time we have lost and gained members. That has resulted in some changes in the way the group operates. In the last month, more shifts have happened and the old core members decided the time had come to formalize, to some degree, what we expect from the group and its members. Continue reading “Guidelines for a Writing Critique Group”
We’ve had posts about critique groups before. These groups can be very helpful to writers if they are balanced and the members show mutual support and respect. Until recently that’s how it’s been for me. Members respected each other and genuinely tried to provide constructive feedback, trusting that it came with good intentions. This keeps groups working together without rancor.
But what happens when one member becomes volatile, angry, and refuses to hear what the others say? Continue reading “Writing Groups and the Toxic Critic”
I’m lucky to live in an area where you can’t throw a Kindle without hitting a writer. Not that I recommend you do that; it makes them cranky and it hurts the Kindle. But it does offer the opportunity to find a face-to-face critique group. If you reside off the beaten path or if the circumstances of your life don’t permit easy travel, gathering a roomful of writers can be more challenging. Social media can provide you with an online writing community, but this doesn’t work for everyone. You might want to keep your social media separate from your actual writing process. Rather than go without fresh eyes on your work, it could be worthwhile to try an online critiquing site like Scribophile.com. Continue reading “Is Scribophile For You?”
Writing critique groups are a great way to get feedback on your works in progress. It used to be that in order to participate, authors would gather once a month or so at a member’s house and take turns reading their latest works. Nowadays there are several kinds of critique groups: online, formal, informal, local. Some are homogeneous, comprised of members who write in the same genre. Others, like mine, are eclectic with members writing different things: memoir, poetry, fiction, non-fiction. Some groups have specific focuses, such as checking grammar and spelling only. Some look for flow and pacing only. Some have only beginning writers, others professional or semi-professional writers. No one size fits all. Even how often they meet, whether they send written critiques on ahead, whether they expect a written excerpt before meetings so they can have their comments ready, or whether they read their submissions at the meetings. The number of members can vary as much as the approach.
Continue reading “Writing Critique Groups – Join One”