Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Critique Group - A Necessity

Posted by Linda

All but one missing member celebrate an acceptance!
In my late 50s I told my husband I wanted to enroll in a children’s writing correspondence course. He looked at me and said, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Now years later, I’ve grown up to be a writer. But, not without help.

I belonged to several writing groups in our last two locations before returning home to Colorado – Washington state and California. Most members only wanted listeners and praise. Publication never appeared to be their ultimate goal. It was mine.

I joined SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrator). Upon arrival in Fort Collins, I called the Colorado coordinator who pointed me toward a writer’s group in Loveland.

Ellen’s group had endured for fifteen or more years. Members changed over the years but a core group remained. My one publication at the time left me with little confidence. When asked to join the group, I remained silent for a month or more. The first time my work was read, I shook both inside and out. I’ve now been part of this group for sixteen years. They helped me get many articles and two books published.
Our group meets weekly. Once a vacancy occurs, we try to find a compatible writer. We expect a commitment to participate and attend. We understand the meaning of "critique" - suggestions the writer can choose to follow or forget. We know each other so well we sometimes forget to praise. We consider eight a perfect number for our group. We know our strengths; for instance, our abilities limit any help we could offer a sci-fi writer. We celebrate everyone's success. Our group works well for us. 

I firmly believe every writer needs a critique group or partner. Is a critique group a necessity for you?  


Bob Mc said...

I agree completely I love my two critique groups, and I know I am strong as a writer because of them.

I am amazed at the level of trust and openness that that exists.

One of my groups is nonfiction only and the other is a great mix of genre, interests and ages.

Bob McDonnell

Kerrie said...

I wouldn't be where I am today with my writing without my amazing critique group. ;-)

Linda Osmundson said...

I'm so glad you both believe in critique groups. Writing can be a lonely occupation but critique partners make all the difference. They point out obvious problems I never saw.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Absolutely critical. The core members of my critique group have been together over 8 years. I don't think I'd be published without them.

Dean K Miller said...

Can you do it without a group? Yes. Will the story, and yourself, be better without one?

No way....!

Linda Osmundson said...

Well said, Dean.

Linda Osmundson said...

Well said, Dean.

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