As writers, we spend much of our time working in isolation. Focusing on a piece of writing, its easy to loose perspective. What works? What doesn’t? After a while, it is really hard to tell. That’s where a strong critique group comes in handy.
Paid critiques are great but a critique group gives you regular access to feedback from multiple people. Because these people are writers, you can often benefit from their experience.
How do you find a critique group?
- Ask other writers that you know. If you talk to someone and their group is not open, they may now of one that is. I personally know of two or three groups in my geographic area.
- Ask on Facebook or Twitter. Make use of your social media connections. Put out feelers. The groups that you find may not be local but that’s okay. Virtual meetings are often better attended because no one has to drive in snow.
- Check your local book store or library. Critique groups often meet in these locations. In addition, it is November which is National Novel Writing Month. I recruited a member to my critique group when I met her at a “write-in.”
- Check with your writing-related groups. Do you belong to SCBWI? Maybe you are a member of your local writer’s guild. See if they have a list of critique groups.
- Look online. Do you belong to an online writing community?
As you find out about various critique groups take a look at what each of them offers. Some will only critique one type of writing and that okay. A picture book group will be of no help if you write novels.
In addition, check the goals of each group. A group of people who write for fun will look at your work very differently than a group of people who want to sell their work. It may take some time to find a group that is a good fit. But that’s okay. Because when you do it will be well worth the effort.