Preparing a Submission for a Critique Group Session

Material submitted to a critique group is somewhere between a first draft and the final draft and may be an entire short story or just a few scenes from a novel. On one hand, a true first draft is riddled with grammar and spelling problems, best fixed with a grammar and spell checker like Grammarly or ProWritingAid. A critique group does not want to waste time commenting on, or suggesting …

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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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How to Find a Critique Group

Finding a critique group is easy. Follow the advice in this post to start your search. The Personal Way Asking a writer friend is one of the easiest ways to find a critique group. Or try an independent bookstore that sells books by local authors. Check their bulletin board for possible groups. You can also ask a librarian–a library being a place where critique groups often meet. If you don’t …

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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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Types of Critique Groups

Critique groups fall into several broad categories: Neighborhood writing groups for all genres Urban writing groups in a specific genre Genre-specific groups sponsored by a larger writer’s association (like Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers located in Colorado). A membership fee is required. Ad hoc groups of genre-specific writers that expanded via the Internet National or international writing groups with hundreds or thousands of writers. The Internet development and management costs require …

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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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Elements of a Good Critique

Like a pilot preparing for takeoff, the person conducting a critique reads the submitted material and “runs a checklist.” Except for grammar, spelling and word choice, the critiquer should not make definitive recommendations to avoid polluting the original writer’s creativity. The rewrite is always up to the author. There are a number of different items in which a writer may request a critique, a few listed below: TITLE – descriptive, …

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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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Sharing Writer Resources with your Online Critique Group

Group vs. Public Sharing Critique groups generally consist of writers with like interests. Positive friendships and bonds form between members. We help each other learn through information sharing. There are three basic levels of privacy for a critique group: Personal info — family, finances, politics and religion. These are best kept at home and not discussed or recorded online. Group info — group projects, member full names, addresses, phone numbers, …

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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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