Thursday, June 28, 2012

Critique Groups with SLO NightWriters

I’m delighted to hold the position of Critique Group Coordinator on the SLO NightWriters Board of Directors.  

That means I assist NW members in locating or starting a critique group and provide guidelines for creating a productive and satisfying critique experience.

We’re just about to host the 2nd annual Night of Critique at the August 2012 SLO NightWriters meeting.  

Last year, members brought 250-500 words to read at the microphone and received feedback from a panel of critiquers. The panel pictured here consisted of: myself, three critique group leaders, Barbara Wolcott, Susan Tuttle and Lorie Brailler; and two NW women skilled and seasoned in the art of critique, Laurie Woodward and Anne Schroeder.

The work presented was varied in genre—a screenplay, first chapters of novels, a children’s picture book, a novel summary, even a college entrance essay! 

Critiquing is an art, but not limited to an elite few.  We can all can listen and provide helpful feedback from our own unique point of view, honing our assessment skills as we grow and learn.  

The beauty of a critique group is the varied perspective that it offers. We each perceive things differently and bring an assortment of strengths and skills to the table. It’s all about supporting the writer and the work to their highest potential. Reviewers need to stay positive and constructive while considering the specific needs of the genre.  

More on Critique Groups to come in a future post.   

Part I  - Critique Group Process Guidelines
Part 2 - A Useful Critique

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