Critique Groups: The Writer’s Lifeline

If you are a writer or aspire to write, you soon discover it’s not as easy as it looks. In fact, it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and I’ve been writing professionally for over thirty years. It’s a career where the minute you think you’ve mastered the craft, your editor returns a document covered in markups and comments that triples the size of your MS Word file. Hence, writers …

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First Encounters in Gamers, Readers, and Science Fiction Unite

Want free sci fi books? First Encounters and many more book selections are available in the Gamers, Readers, and Science Fiction Unite group giveaway. This giveaway is hosted on Prolific Works starting today and running through April 30th. We encourage our readers to drop by the group giveaway this month and download our anthology and any other books that intrigue and fascinate. If you need a little more information, here’s …

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Wendy Spurlin & Paul Martz Featured on the RMFW Podcast: Lessons Learned Hiring a Book Cover Designer

To all our fellow writers out there, especially the unpublished ones, our group wanted to share a few lessons learned about hiring a book cover designer for our First Encounters anthology. Paul Martz and I reached out to Mark Stevens, author and host of the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers (RMFW) Podcast, as a means of getting the word out, and below is our discussion on the topic. We shared some …

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Enlisting New Members to a Writers Critique Group

The total member count of any critique group will increase and decrease frequently. It’s just the nature of any situation heavy on judgement. And as some members progress to senior writers and publish their books, they may become too busy to attend regularly. If you’re a critique group leader, it’s your job to keep track of those members who come and go, and a huge part of your job is …

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What to Expect at Your First Critique Session

If you’re seeking membership in a critique group, it’s most likely because you hope to improve your ability to tell a story. If you’re a new writer, you’re also looking for guidance on the basics of grammar and craft. And if you’re a published author, you might be looking for reasons your books aren’t selling. Whatever your circumstances, it’s important to first know what you hope to gain from a …

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Beware of Critique Groups

Beware of Critique Groups!

Okay, I admit the title for this post is a little dramatic. So far we’ve been touting the importance of running your work through a critique group. Now I make them sound like a house of horrors. Know that this post isn’t meant to scare you away from critique groups. Mainly, it’s important to understand the choices you’ll face and the issues you’ll encounter as a member, which will ensure …

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Reasons to Join a Critique Group

As writers, our desire to tell stories keeps us going, full steam ahead. But every time we’re tap tapping away at the keyboard, the number one question in our minds is, will anyone like my book? By 2017, over 1 million books had been self-published. If the story you’re writing doesn’t stand out, it will sit on that online bookstore shelf, unnoticed and lost in the mix. So if you’re …

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Moderating an Online Critique Session

Whether a critique group meets in-person or online, each session needs a moderator. The moderator sets the order of critiques, starts the video session, directs the meeting flow, and keeps the peace from start to finish. Schedule and Group Size Three hours is the ideal timeframe to conduct a session. If a meeting lasts longer than three hours, attendees’ attention will diminish. This window also works well across the four …

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Sharing Critique Pages And Preparing For Online Critique Sessions

Leaders of an online critique group are responsible for setting up new members and preparing everyone for weekly critique sessions. Having one or two people as the go-to is helpful in keeping each meeting running in an organized manner. My previous post discussed How To Set Up File Sharing For An Online Critique Group, so your file structure is in place and ready for writers to upload the pages they …

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How To Set Up File Sharing For An Online Critique Group

One of the most important parts of online critique is setting up and maintaining the group’s file sharing service. For the purpose of this post, we will not proclaim to be experts in file sharing, nor will we bore you with all the technical details. We will explain what we use and how we use our shared drive. If you are interested in learning more about the services available, one …

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