What is a Writer's Critique Group?

wiseGEEK Writing Contest

A Writer’s Critique Group is many things.

It is a secure place for any writer to meet and commiserate with other fellow writers who will objectively read their work and give constructive criticism within the limited time allotted, which is set fourth within the group. Every group will vary on this.

It is also a place where the fledgling writer can meet and network, which gives them the renewed confidence to go fourth and pursue the writing life of their dreams.

Critique groups generally take place in one of the writer’s homes or can be at a local library or book store.

The schedule for these meetings can be weekly, bi-weekly, or just once a month. This is usually decided on by the group itself, upon its fruition.

Most critique meetings start off with accountability, meaning that everyone who is in attendance gets five to ten minutes, which varies with each group, to voice what they have accomplished since their last sharing.

Next there is a democratic vote on who will have their pieces read and in what order that should be.

When a writer’s work is read, by someone other than the author, then each member, going around the table, gives their opinion on the piece. Sometimes the group will be in agreement with the last person’s comment and they will raise their hands as such. In another situation, many members will just jot down their own corrections on the copy they were given before the read.

At the end of the read all copies are given back to the author and she or he graciously thanks everyone and they go on to the next manuscript for critiquing.

Belonging to a writer’s critique group is a very useful tool to any writer who needs a first read and has no one to listen or critique their work in a constructive way.

This submission was not accepted into the wiseGEEK Writing Contest because it does not meet the minimum length requirement.

submitted by Fay Ulanoff