Critique Groups

You’ve written a few stories and read a couple of books on how to write. Now what? I would advise joining a critique group.

A critique group is a made up of a number of writers who get together at least once a month to share their writing projects. The purpose is to help develop and fine tune writing skills and styles. A good critique group is meant to encourage its members by offering positive remarks and suggestions that will help the writer improve his/her work.  

Depending on the size of the group, there will usually be a maximum number of pages a person can bring and usually a certain amount of time to read your manuscripts aloud to one another. Sometimes if a group is too big, the members will be divided into smaller, more manageable groups.

I started out in a general critique group that took both serious and casual writers (those who were more interested in learning how best to express themselves in words than in publishing them). At first it was scary sharing my stories with others, but I came to value the comments and encouragements of the members as I worked hard to improve my craft.

I now belong to a wonderful critique group called the Wordsmiths. We are a group of eight professional Christian writers who are serious about developing the calling God placed in our hearts to write for His glory, whether in the secular or religious markets. I love the Wordsmiths. The ladies are so loving and so encouraging. I look forward to our meetings every month.

You can find critique groups in most major cities. Writers’ guides will give some type of reference to a critique group either through a club list or by an organization that has their own critique list. A Google search will also come up with a series of choices.

Looking for an online critique group? Writers’ Digest came out with an article in the February issue on this very topic. Read it on http://www.writersdigest.com/articles/reynolds_online.asp .

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