Four Steps to Revising My Opening with a Critiki Bar Hangover

Ugh. I just woke up with a wicked headache, and my tongue feels like it’s taped to the roof of my mouth. That’s what I get for drinking at The Critiki Bar, my pick for best workshop of the 2022 RMFW Gold Conference. The bartenders (er, moderators) were Katharine Sands, an established New York literary agent, and David L. Robbins, a best-selling author and creative writing professor. Prior to the …

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Expert Advice from a New Writer

Writing advice surrounds me. Everyone, it seems, is an expert. One day, all that information on self-publishing, pitching a story, and writing query letters will come in handy, but for now I feel like I’m drowning in unhelpful advice. Sink with me to the bottom of the writing-advice ocean, where I talk with Mark Stevens, author and host of the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers (RMFW) Podcast. Why would Mark bother …

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Writing Query Letters

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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