14 February 2014

Critique Group Fun

I work with a great group of critiquers. We meet in a Barnes & Noble. A regular group of four of us, plus a semi-regular group of others offer great insight, good questions and sound criticism.

I drive forty-five minutes one way to meet with them, and I’ve been doing that for almost nine years. How the time flies!

Some people from the group have moved away (boo!), but we still keep in touch through Skype. We created a group which one of the members christened the Texas Skype Walkers, so we could still read each other’s work and offer support and encouragement.

They’re all members of SCBWI and write children’s books. Their books are wonderful, and I know I’ll see them published one day. I look forward to celebrating that good news with them.

As a librarian, many people in our library system know I also write. One of our branch managers had several patrons ask her about offering a writers’ group. She asked me if I would be willing to run it. I said sure.

Our first meeting was in September. We decided to form a critique group, and we have about six members including myself. They write all kinds of genres, both fiction and nonfiction. The group is still new, and the dynamics are still forming. But it promises to be a good group as well.

I cannot praise my critique partners enough. We share our news with each other. We mourn setbacks and celebrate victories. If you can find a critique group -- in person, online, through email -- find one. I love my critique partners.

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