Advice and Links from Others
Julie said, "One thing people should know is that it can take some time to get the 'right' group. Don't be disheartened if you try a few groups before finding one that's a great fit."
On a related note, writer Michele Blood cautioned, "RUN AWAY if you smell trouble. I learned the hard way."
However, trouble rarely happens when you connect via SCBWI or in respected groups such as Julie's, 12x12, Sub It Club or Sub Six.
Susan Uhlig Ford has written number of posts on critique groups and also wrote SCBWI guidelines, too. Here are links to some of her posts:
- For beginners and those needing a new group look here.
- For various types of critique groups. Look at detailed methods here.
- Susan also offers a way to classify comments after a critique and what to do with them here. Personally, absorbing comments and suggestions usually is my sticking point.
- Finally, Susan suggested we look at critique rules and how/when to break a rule over at The Write Conversation blog here.
What Else Can a Critique Group Do?
My current group of six writers meets weekly even if we all can't make it online that night. It's important to establish routines and habits, so sometimes only a few of us meet. On such evenings we may not work on anyone's manuscript but still do writerly work. We might do any of the following:
- Read picture books to each other that could be used as comp titles for WIPs. Since we use Google hangouts, we can share the illustrations, too.
- Discuss webinars or classes we recently took and share notes.
- Brainstorm new ideas or share beginnings and endings of WIPS to see if they work as "bookends" for each other.
- We also keep a private FB page and post agent alerts and submission opportunities.
because we all contribute content and energy to making our goals into realities. Not all critique groups run this way, but our combined efforts make us accountable to each other. In this new year of possibilities, may you find the right critique partner/group for you.