Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Critique Groups

Here are the facts of my critique group.

--I've been in it for 2 1/2 years
--Without them, I never would have finished my first book (Meg's Melody)
--We meet once a month
--We alternate whose house we meet at
--Usually we all bring something to share (1-6 pages)
--We do it at lunchtime so we can eat and critique
--We have a wide range of writers: women's fiction, romance, literary, YA, nonfiction, and middle grade (plus some crossovers: LDS, scifi, historical, etc). I love having the diversity because all of our strengths lie in different areas.

Just this week we decided that we should email our pages to the group before we meet, so that we have time to read and think about them before we get together. I know I have a harder time thinking of critiques right off the top of my head, when everyone is looking at me, expecting me to say something, but if I have time to gather my thoughts, then I can actually give decent feedback.

I also have some online crit partners that I regularly send my work to for "right now" feedback: Jolene Perry (gets the most of my stuff), DeAnn Huff, and recently Kelley Vitollo. All three write YA and are extremely talented women.  I have other beta readers that I send my full book to when I am finished and they are amazing (but that will have to be a different post)

So how do you run your crit groups? Do you have any tips? Have they helped you?


  1. I would love to form a critique group, but I haven't found anybody that lives close. Right now I have a CP that lives across the country, so we e-mail chapters at a time.

  2. I have a crit group that meets a few times a month. Lately it's only been one, but we've been e-mailing which really saves on paper! Who knew? ;) They have helped me a ton with fin tuning everything in my books. Jolene is awesome. She read a few chapters of my book BOUND. I kind of put in on the back burner though. I need to send her something else. Her feedback was great! I just barely found a few beta readers. I didn't have any with my other books, but the rest of my books WILL have some! :)

  3. That's a great critique group! I'm not with one, as I haven't lined up the right people yet. I'm working on it though.

  4. I don't have a group per se, but more like a few individual crit partners for different stages. I like urs though.

  5. I think you probably know all my crit people:D

    Vitollo, you, my friend Heather, and a very few other people. Anderson does an amazing job, but I don't know her as well . . .

    It's nice, and crit people are INVALUABLE. I don't care HOW good you are at self-editing, we ALL need crit people.

  6. I adore my beta readers. They are intelligent, honest and confident - all the makings for very good feedback!

  7. I've critiqued with you and loved it :)

    I have one regular crit partner and we do almost everything online because we both have four young kids. We do meet for a super early (like 5 a.m.) breakfast once a quarter and that is primarily designed to encourage one another. SO VITAL for me.

  8. We meet weekly - we took the summer off, though. :) We alternate where we meet and we each bring about ten pages. My group rocks!

  9. My group has been meeting for three years. We meet weekly (unless schedules don't work out), and we send out a chapter to the rest of the group a few days beforehand so we can make comments in the chapter, or just make notes of what to talk about. There are lots of ways to run a critique group, but this is the way that seems to work well for us.

  10. I have two online crit groups that I am a part of but I am so envious for the face-to-face groups. I have been trying to find one in my area for ever but it is near impossible to find YA writers around here. If I do there group is full so that I would love.

  11. it's so sad. I don't have a critique group and always feel like I'm missing out because of it. There just isn't time to fit one more thing in, and I think my family would give me up for adoption if I tried joining one. But dang it sounds awesome to be able to do, so I am just going to sit here and admire yours. I loved Meg's Melody BTW. I don't know that I ever told you, but wanted you to know how much I enjoyed it.

  12. Hey where you been? Just wanted to let you know that I highlighted you and For the Love on my blog today:)


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