Dramaquill's All Things Writing

May 5, 2009

Critique groups-online or face to face


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Are you a writer?  Whether an aspiring newbee or a seasoned professional, I firmly believe that belonging to a critique group (at least for certain projects), is invaluable.

Where else can you find a group of likeminded individuals, all striving toward the same types of goals, with knowledge and expertise in a wide variety of different areas?

Currently, I belong to two online critique groups.  One is a group that writes everything in rhyme, called “Rhyming Critters 2”.  The group got together years ago on MSN and has become an independant group of ten.  Yes members come and go, but a consistent group has remained.  Most of the members are published and many did not pursue this avenue until they had actively participated in the group. 

My second critique group, “The Blue Quills”, formed on the old BOOST for writers site.  Eventually, the six of us moved to a private group and the same six members have been together since that time.  This group focuses on novels (MG/YA/adult) and non-fiction.  We do, from time to time, also focus on PBs or articles in the kidlit markets as well as playwriting.  One of our members secured a book deal for her MG novel, set to come out in 2009.  Many others have published in recognized children’s magazines and the SCBWI bulletin.  All of us are very actively writing, submitting and publishing.

I have made amazing friends in both of my online critique groups, but I do sometimes feel that being able to get together in person would offer other experiences that I can’t get online, like reading my work aloud and engaging in discussions (although the latter can be achieved through emails quite sufficiently).

My biggest problem, until now, has been that the local writing group meets at a time that I cannot attend, due to my work. 

But an exciting proposition has come my way, through the website, Kijiji.com.  It seems that a new, local writer’s group is about to form, with its first meeting scheduled for the last Sunday of May.  And as luck would have it, Sundays are a great day for me to indulge in such an activity.

How many of you are involved in critique groups? 

Do you prefer “face to face” encounters with local writers or do you find “online” groups your preference?

I’ll keep you posted on my experiences.


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