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Finding a Read and Critique Group

12 Mar 2022 3:05 PM | Leon Lazarus (Administrator)

We invite you to use the SDWEG forums to find your next Read and Critique group.

To learn all the most important critique group rules, connect with others looking for groups, and find groups looking for members, join the thread on the SDWEG Forums Page.

A few choice rules

Here are a few things to consider when looking to grow your own group or find one to join:

  1. You are there to support your fellow writers and help others improve their craft. Start at a place of respect.
  2. Submit your work on time, arrive on time, and stick to your allotted time. Your critique should go to plot, character, pacing, and other important structural elements. Your minor line edits are not worthy of everyone's time, so leave them on the page.
  3. Start and end your feedback on a positive note. Sandwich your negative comments so they go down a little easier. No one loves to find out that their work of genius has imperfections. If you have nothing good to say, decline to comment.
  4. Critique the work and not the writer. If you want to avoid your comments being perceived as destructive, watch your language. When you say something like, "I did not like your," you are calling out the writer. If you say, "I did not like the," you are focusing on the words.
  5. Accept critiques without defending your work. It is a waste of everyone's time and, if you are honest with yourself, you know a reader can only critique the words on the page. Your intentions are irrelevant once the work is submitted. Remember, when that book is opened by a reader, you are not there to tell them what to make of it. Those words stand or fall on their own.
  6. Make sure you are getting what you need from the group. If not, ask. If the group does not oblige, find another group. Don't look for fans and adulation. You want writers who consistently write, and who offer fair, unvarnished feedback.
  7. If the other writers in your group are not better than you, leave. You want a group that will challenge you and make you grow into your craft. You can all still stay friends, but your writing may improve with a different group.

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