I’ve participated in a handful of writing critique groups. Some lasted for months, and others for many years. Most have been centered around romance or young adult/children’s books. All taught me a lot about writing. I’ve been thinking about them because I’m getting ready to present a webinar about critique groups for SCBWI-AK (the Alaska chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators).
Here are a few tips for anyone thinking of forming or joining a critique group.
1. Create a safe, welcoming space. Make sure everyone has a chance to participate and share ideas.
2. Be up front with ground rules and procedures to give clear expectations.
3. Give feedback gently but helpfully. Provide both positive and constructive input.
4. Listen to feedback carefully. Don’t get defensive, but consider how you might use their ideas to improve the chapter or book.
5. Be professional and kind, even if leaving a group. There’s a good chance you’ll see these people later in your writing career, and you want a reputation as a team player.
Want to check out the webinar?
Working Well with Others: Critique Groups Sept. 10, 4-5 pm Alaska time
Registration and more info at https://alaska.scbwi.org/events/working-well-with-others/