Good afternoon gentlefolk! In my efforts to get back into writing, I’ve been thinking about constructive criticism and my experiences of critique groups …
I’ve been really lucky in the past as my critique partners have kind of just fallen into my lap (Not literally. That would be weird and a bit inappropriate.). When I did my MA, I became good friends with a small group of writers from the course and we continued to meet through the summer, reading scenes and chapters to each other, giving feedback, celebrating our successes and being there to shore up flagging confidence. We’d email each other outside of uni and send our works in progress across the ether, often with messages discussing a sticking plot-point or a character motivation that just didn’t motivate.
So that group just appeared: it was a chance meeting of students, a small portion of whom just happened to work well together with respect and honesty.
But here I am now, almost three years after my MA finished, in a different city and without a writing course to hand me a group of like-minded people … And I’m wondering – how do people find their critique partners and groups?
Please, I’d love to hear about your experiences with critique groups and readers – how did you find yours?
(And before you go thinking my MA was all sweetness and light, I’ll tell you a story soon about when critiques go bad … but that’s for next time!)