It can be hard to find a great critique group, but it usually works out well when
- You trust the organizer
- The group has clear goals and a clear timeline
- Everyone is writing the same thing (in this case: short stories)
- The group has a clear code of conduct and an active leader.
"This is a great group and Julie's attention to detail, organizational skills, and her encouragement in each writer's work makes this exercise a valuable tool in increasing my skill as a writer."
"I always sign up the minute Critique Week opens.
I love the chance to read other people’s stories, and...the chance to see how some of them grow!"
The feedback is so helpful, and the community is always great."
-Laura Jane Swanson
"Critique Week reminds me that I really am a writer and that I can make mistakes and still be a writer with a story people want to read.
It also introduces me to other writers I want to root for."
- Marta Pelrine-Bacon
Writing can be a lonely business. It is almost impossible to read your own story and know if it is any good. A fresh set of eyes really helps.
If we’re too critical, we might cut out our best lines, when we revise. Or we become discouraged and give up on our writing for months, weeks, or years.
What a waste of time!
Sometimes we're too generous with a story that has flaws, and send it out before it's ready, earning unnecessary rejections or poor reviews.
EVERYBODY NEEDS FEEDBACK
- I am a beta reader for a novelist who just won her genre's highest prize. She still sends new chapters to her readers whenever she is writing new books.
- I read for a friend who has two novels published and starred reviews in Kirkus.
- I always give my stories to trusted readers before I send them to anyone else.
Trusted critique partners can help you:
- See what's working in your story and what still needs a little work.
- Crowdsource solutions and further resources for whatever issue you're having.
- Gain a new appreciation of the strengths and uniqueness in your writing.
- Sign up the week before Critique Week (see calendar)
- All stories will be uploaded on Day 1 (Saturday)
- All critiques are due by the date of your meeting (you choose, below)
About Critique Week
- You will have the opportunity to have your story (up to 3,000 words) critiqued by at least three other writers in your group
- You will critique at least three other stories, learning a lot about writing through that exercise alone.
- Private, written discussions within the Google Drive.
- Comments are made directly on documents in a Google Drive environment (don’t worry, I’ll provide instructions)
- Read as many stories as you like.
- A chance to re-upload a corrected version of your story and read the corrected versions other people upload during Reading Week, one month later (there are no assignments during Reading Week, but I do encourage you to participate and leave comments again)
You will get a lot out of receiving feedback from others, but you’ll get at least as much insight into the writing process by participating in providing critique for others, especially since you’ll be doing it alongside two other writers.
By joining this group you are committing to fulfilling your part of the bargain: you will critique three stories by the due date, and join in discussions in the comments and in the Slack channel.
(Obviously, if something comes up, beyond your control, just let me know and I’ll arrange for a pinch-reader to take your place).
"The class gave me a valuable insight into how my writing will be perceived by future readers. The critiques will help with me editing process."
"The feedback was fantastic and really helped me focus on where my first-draft weaknesses are and how to correct them in revision."
- Fleet Sparrow
"I had no idea what to expect but was happy with how things went. People saw things in my work that I had overlooked and thinking about how other people wrote helped me see my own story differently.
- A. N.