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Running a Critique Group

Buried in the Slushpile, critiquing

Running a Critique Group
One of the best things for your writing is to get feedback from other knowledgeable authors. The easiest way to do this is to set up a critique group. Then, you and like-minded individuals can get together to review and strengthen each other’s works. Of course, the easiest and best thing is to join an existing group. However, that’s not always an option. So, if you find yourself gathering some author friends together and starting your own, here are some ways to keep organized:

  • Keep a spreadsheet of members and their emails. As people’s lives get busy, the members of the group will probably come and go. Keeping a list somewhere other than in your email kept help keep your sanity.
  • Agree in advance how you want your group to work. Do you read in advance and bring critiques to the meeting? Do you critique “off the cuff” when you get there? Do you read some of your work at the meeting? Different strategies work for different people.
  • Have a point person. This doesn’t have to be a leader per se, but you do want someone who organizes the meetings and keeps track of who is in the group/can attend any particular meeting.

Even if you already have a critique partner or dedicated beta readers, it never hurts to consider joining a critique group. You can never get to much feedback. (You don’t have to follow all of it, but it doesn’t hurt to receive it.)

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