Critique Group Question

I belong to a critique group. We meet two times per month and have been doing so for well over a year. 

Attendance fades during the summer due to vacations and scheduling conflicts, and peaks during the long, rainy winter months (remember, I’m in Oregon where there’s no such thing as winter…and I’m qualified to say that since I’ve lived in the Midwest where one wrong move outside and you’re looking at frostbite, or worse)

Another group I’ve been looking into is called Weekly Chapter Challenge which can be found on the Writer’s Digest Community of Writing Groups, of which there are nearly 130.

With the Chapter Challenge group, you advertise for a buddy, find one you like, then exchange weekly goals for critiquing all the while encouraging each other to keep up with your writing goals.

But I digress from the question of the day…

How do you get the most from your critique group? Or, if you use Beta Readers, how does your relationship operate? Or, if you have neither, how is that working for you?


6 thoughts on “Critique Group Question

  1. After having several readers, the best by far is blunt. Supportive and blunt. She let’s me know if I am losing her because the work was rushed or too vague.

    Several others have read for me, but they are like showing your work to your mother. YOu don’t get back honest critisism but praise instead.

    I’ve belonged to two critique groups and have attempted to hook up with a critique partner. It sometimes works.

    I think with a CP or with groups you need to be with people who are on your level of crafting, someone who is as far along in the process and also can relate to your genre.

  2. I too am a fan of the “Supportive and blunt” variety. I’d rather hear the truth from a critque partner than a potential publisher/editor 🙂


  3. I love my group, which coincidentally I just returned from. We are also of the supportive and blunt variety and I can for certain my novel would not be anywhere near as good as it is today without them. Tonight is a great example–we read the entire manuscript of a novel over the last couple weeks. It was brilliant, truly, but had a couple problems (nothing major). There was no coddling or dissembling, but we launched right into what needed to be done. Then, almost as an afterthought, told the writer that it was a fabulous piece of work, which, honestly, he already knew. I can’t imagine my writing life without my group! I should add that it recently celebrated its 10 year anniversary. I’ve been in it nearly 7 years, and for a long time I was the newbie, but we’ve got new victims now.

  4. Charlotte,
    Wow! Ten years for the group and seven for you! I bet you guys have great fun at your meetings, in addition to getting a LOT of work done.

    Thanks for stopping by,

  5. I’ve not yet joined a local group. I have tried critique partners. Some work. Some don’t. One fired me. HA. I don’t think she liked my “blunt” feedback. Plus she told me my writing was crap and I’d never get published. Not very helpful.

    However, the awesome partners I have found online have been worth going through it!

    Melissa and I have exchanged chapters for quite awhile now, and we’ve just about finished our first manuscripts. And we plan to work together on the next as well. We are both blunt with each other and accept the comments knowing that we are both working hard to help each other get published. We don’t need “nice” – we need blunt!!

    AND, I’m so excited about my new critique partner!!! She is AWESOME! ha. Christi Corbett is her name, and we just exchanged our first chapters. Now, who will get published first? It WILL be accomplished.

  6. Margo,
    I can’t believe one fired you, your insight into the “bigger picture” of my pages, and your ability to catch my stupid mistakes (leaving off punctuation marks) makes me think they couldn’t handle the truth.

    I love what I’ve read so far of your work and am eagerly looking forward to more!


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