Guidelines for a Writing Critique Group

critique group feedbackThere 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”

Writing Critique Groups – Join One

checklistWriting 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”

My Meetup Adventures – Connecting with Writers AND Readers!

meetup logoI teach self-publishing workshops. Some of them are facilitated by writers’ organizations or festivals, and some of them I organize myself or with my business partner. Usually, they sell out. Late last year I had a major event planned. I was at half capacity with six weeks to go, and sign-ups stalled. So, I posted on Facebook, tweeted on Twitter, and wrote an article detailing the content and posted it on LinkedIn. No matter what I did I couldn’t fill any more seats. My workshops aren’t expensive. They’re priced so that authors can afford to attend. My goal is to spread the word that many of the tools needed to self-publish are readily available to authors and it isn’t necessary to hire outside agencies in order to publish your work. I didn’t think cost was a problem and I was offering valuable information. Vancouver is a city of last-minute decision-makers, but I didn’t want to wait. I wanted to sell out before the day of the event.

I sought out other ways to reach authors. I ran ads on Craigslist giving details. I gave a webinar giving away some of the content and inviting authors to attend. I dropped off flyers at libraries and bookstores. I spoke on podcasts. I filled a few more seats from these efforts, but I still wasn’t at capacity. That’s when I found MeetUp, and became a MeetUp attendee. Continue reading “My Meetup Adventures – Connecting with Writers AND Readers!”

Google Plus Groups

Google Plus CommunitiesLike many folks, I spend a lot of time on Facebook (probably more than is good for me, actually). And like many authors and other small business owners, I’ve become frustrated with Facebook’s pay-to-inform-your-followers setup and have thought about moving house to another social network – say, Google Plus.

But I also spend a lot of time in Facebook groups. (Sometimes it seems like posting in a Facebook group is the only way to be sure people will see your post, doesn’t it? But I digress.) Wouldn’t it be neat if Google Plus had a similar feature? Continue reading “Google Plus Groups”