Writing is by nature a solitary past time but the trope of the writer in the freezing garret scratching away to the light of single guttering candle has been supplanted in the digital age by computers and internet. We are no longer alone, there is a whole writing community out there with whom to connect. Online workshops, elists, forums, blogs… but one thing remains constant: around the country, at any given time there is a little group of writers sitting around a table with printed paper clutched in one hand and a pen in the other. (There are also online critique groups but I have no experience of those so I will just talk about the “actual” critique group as opposed to the “virtual” critique group).
Most writers are introverts, so it takes a great deal of motivation (and courage) to join a critique group. Not only are you putting your writing on the line but also yourself and it’s that very vulnerability that either makes or breaks your experience with a critique group.
|The ANZA Writers Group in 2002 at the Launch of NOT ALL PINK GINS|
What makes or breaks a critique group?
|Alison's "tribe" at work on a writing retreat|
How do you find a critique group? That is a surprisingly hard question to answer!
- If you are a member of Romance Writers of Australia you can contact the Group Liaison who can either help you start your own group or find a group in your area. firstname.lastname@example.org
- Your local community centre may have details of local writing groups but expect to find a wide range of writing interests within such a group. The larger the group the more structured you will find it.
Looking for suggestions: What makes a critique group work or where/how do you find a suitable group?
(*based on an earlier post appearing on Long and Short Reviews May 13, 2013)