ABC – Day 13 – Critique Groups

Being part of a critique group

Being part of a critique group

Have you participated in a critique group? If so, how did it work out for you? If not, why have you avoided joining one to this point? Is your critique group online or does it meet in person? What is the most useful thing you get out of your participation? How do you think a critique group could help you improve your writing?

I don’t participate in critique groups, mostly because of time. As well as writing, I also have a day job and two kids to look after. As much as I would love to have time to participate, right now, it’s not there.

I do, however, get feedback in other ways.

The first feedback/critique on my stories is from my kids. They are 13 and 11 and are the age of the kids I write for. OK, they are a little bit older, but they still give invaluable feedback to help shape a story and develop characters.

Once a month, I go to a local writers group run by the library. Here we have the opportunity to share our work and get feedback. In this group, there are a wide range of different writers, from non fiction to poetry, from scripts to novels. The size of the group varies, so we usually only have time to share a short snippet of our work. Generally the feedback is helpful, as is reading the work out lout do an audience. The simple act of reading out loud has helped on numerous occasions.

Another place I get feedback from is my editor. Julieann from Lilly Pilly Publishing is fantastic as she’s a teacher and reads my books with that in mind. There have been a number of times she’s made suggestions that will help the book appeal more to teachers so they can be used int he classroom.

My book is also sent to beta readers for their feedback before we publish the book, giving children the opportunity to tell us what they think.

All this feedback helps improve my writing as it can highlight areas that don’t make sense or need expanding, as well as other holes and weaknesses in the work. They are also able to help highlight what is good with my stories. Some of this can apply to future stories to help make them stronger too.

One day I hope to have the time to join a critique group. I would love to have the chance to read the work of others and give feedback while getting feedback on my own work. But for now, life does get in the way…

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  1. It sounds like you’ve got a range of good feedback procedures in place that works! That’s really all that matters. 🙂 We need someone to think outside ourselves. 🙂

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