Critiquing – and Supportive – Crusaders

Update April 23 2011: something just occurred to me, thanks to Elizabeth Mueller’s S entry in the A-Z challenge, though I should have thought of it by myself much sooner. Part of the reason for writers to form small groups isn’t just to critique each other’s work, but to support and encourage each other, and so I’m expanding this project to include that. Hope you don’t mind.

Okay, so this page is home to my crazy notion of writers in the Platform-Building Blog Crusade forming mutual support writer’s groups and doing critique exchanges. If you’re interested in this, please leave me a comment answering the following questions:

Are you interested in joining a critique group, where all group members can exchange supportive thoughts and mutual encouragement, discuss each other’s critiques and thoughts, or simply in exchanging critiques one-on-one with other authors? (Or both.) If a group, do you have any idea how large (or small) of a group you’d be comfortable with?

What kind of authors would you be interested in having as part of your support network?

What genres and age ranges are you interested in reading and critiquing? How would you generally describe the genre and age range of the stories you’d like to contribute?

What length range of work would you want to be critiqued? What length range are you interested in critiquing?

And if you’re not interested, please feel free to leave a comment just saying hi, or apologizing that you won’t be ready for any of this until the cow jumps over the moon, or whatever!

50 Responses to Critiquing – and Supportive – Crusaders

  1. I’m interested in romance, romantic suspense, and thrillers.
    Edge of Your Seat Romance

  2. Sylvia van Bruggen says:

    I am interested in critiquing science fiction, fantasy and historical fiction, any age range, any length

    I will be contributing short stories and novel length fiction. As far as group size: 3 or 4 would be perfect, as we also need to write our own fiction

    Also a suggestion of having minimal critiquing guidelines to follow, when I started out critting other people’s stories, those were really useful.

  3. Definitely interested in a group. I think small groups would work best for me because I’m thorough and it takes time. Maybe 2-3 people? I like when we exchange small chunks, like 20 pages at a time.

    I am mainly interested in critiquing science fiction and fantasy, any age range (mine is for adult), any length as long as someone with over 100K understands it may take a while. :) I’m willing to read other stuff as well if needed, but I’m feeling desperate for sci fi readers to look at my work.

    I have a novel of 87K ready for critique and I’m working on a few flash fiction pieces around 1k each.

    Thanks! I’m excited!

  4. Summer Ross says:

    I am interested in a critique group- not more than 3 or 4. I have college classes for the next year so sometimes I can get to a lot and sometimes I wont get to any.

    Any age range is fine- though my stories tend to be more adult- I enjoy critiquing all sorts of genres including nonfiction. I write novels, short stories, poetry, in both fiction and nonfiction and sometimes have class assignments associated with these genres.

    I do think guidelines should be applied perhaps if you submit something to crit then you must crit at least two other works within the group, or something like it.

  5. Great idea Chris, I hope a lot of Crusaders take you up on this :)

    LOL, great minds think alike it seems. I have a post scheduled for a few weeks where I’ll be doing a critique partner connection *grins*

    Hugs,

    Rach

  6. Hart says:

    I have a ‘group’ but I am more prolific than most of it, so the idea of another group is appealing… or maybe it is just a system to pair with partners. I feel like critiquing ALWAYS teaches me as much as I am helping.

    I WRITE suspense and mystery (both adult and YA)–the YA, while not paranormal, seems to be taking on slight paranormal undertones (a ghost MC in one, plans for a girl who talks to the dead). I READ most anything but romance. (romantic suspense is fine–just not straight romance, unless you want me to recommend doing really rotten things to the characters)

  7. tanya reimer says:

    I’m more a one on one type. I find groups confusing and overwhelming. Just too much info all at once.

    I have mostly fantasies for adults, novel lentgh 100k plus and mid-grade 50k. I would be interested in reading anything, but would perfer MS be past the second draft stage.

    This is a great idea Chris and I hope something long term comes out of it! Thanks!!

  8. Mask says:

    Yep, I’d certainly be interested, particularly in finding a critique partner, or joining a small group.

    My style is probably leaning towards fantasy, but isn’t aimed at any specific age-range.

  9. Lauri says:

    I write mainstream/literary, but I read a lot of fantasy. I would love to work with some of the crusaders!

  10. Kerri Cuevas says:

    I would read anything YA and romance, any length.

  11. Lynda Young says:

    This is a wonderful program and I hope it helps lots of writers. At the moment I’m not looking for a critique partner.

  12. alberta ross says:

    sounds a splendid idea – however I just don’t have the time – it’s a job that needs time not to short change anyone – but if it happens all the best – maybe one day. . .

  13. Hey, this is a really cool idea :-) I definitely need my work critiqued but, being a teacher, I have really busy times (during term) and then not so busy times (during holidays). So I guess I’m looking for just one critique partner rather than a group.

    I think it would work well with swapping a certain number of pages per week, rather than like an entire manuscript in one go :-)

    I write fantasy with main characters aged from about 13 to 18. So I guess young adult and some middle grade. I don’t know, what ages are considered middle grade?

    Anyway, great idea :-)

  14. This is a great idea, although with all the different needs of everyone you’ll have a job pulling it off. I guess if we can see others we could be mtched with it will be great. I’m already in a critique group so I would prefer a one on one scenario or a small group with no crazy deadlines.

    I’m writing an MG novel in verse at the moment it is around 186 stanzas and in the middle of fourth draft. I shouldn’t need the meter checking by now, but I would love to know if the story itself is good.

    Thanks!

  15. Kari Marie says:

    Lovely idea! I’m a ways from needing a partner, but I’d be open to critiquing other people’s work while I revise my MS, with the knowledge that when I’m ready, there will be folks ready to read my work.

    I’m revising a supernatural/paranormal, urban fantasy for adults, but I’m in the process of writing a YA

  16. Margo says:

    I love the idea of a crusading critique group! pretty much any format is fine with me. Usually a chapter at a time seems to work best for groups, but again, I’m flexible.

    I am also looking for a beta reader, too, when I’m “done” with my first draft/first revisions in June. If anyone is interested, it’s YA historical fantasy. I like to beta-read pretty much all genres.

    Great idea!

  17. Ann says:

    I am interested in a small group too. I write mainstream fiction, I think it would be classed as. I also write short stories and some historical fiction. I like fantasy but not horror. :)

  18. I think this is a great idea. I’d be interested in a small group of 3-4. I’ll have a New Adult contemporary manuscript ready for critiquing in a couple of months but a word of warning, it’s really BIG (175K big). I’m hoping it will be a fair bit smaller by the time I’m finished editing, but at the same time, I don’t think there’s heaps of fat in there.

    I’m happy to critique Young Adult, New Adult and Adult fiction. It can have a fantasy, sci-fi, paranormal or dystopia bent but anything set in completely different worlds or on space ships is a little out of my comfort zone. So is hard core romance or erotica.

    Really looking forward to seeing how this comes together!

  19. I’d totally be up for doing a group if there is enough interest or in connecting one-on-one with critique partners. I’m happy to critique anything except erotica. I write thrillers and sci-fi so hopefully other members would be willing to critique those =) I’d prefer to do smaller critiques (20-30 pages max at a time) since I take my time with critiques.

  20. J.C. Martin says:

    Thanks for the heads-up! I’m definitely up for this! Small groups sound best: a range of opinions but still a manageable number of people! We could exchange small chunks of work, say one or two chapter or 10-20 pages at a time. My current WiP is crime but I’m happy to critique most things, although I may not be the best person for sci-fi, steampunk and straight romance. Happy to work with any age range: MG, YA, or Adult.

  21. Vicki Tremper says:

    Thanks, Chris. I’m more comfortable one on one and I write MG and YA, so that’s what I’d prefer to read (any sub-genres). It can be useful to go chapter by chapter, but it is also valuable to have beta readers to read an entire finished ms at a certain point.

  22. This is a great idea! I’m not looking for a critique group at the moment but that is awesome that you are willing to do this for everyone. Something like this would’ve been so helpful when I was trying to find a group. A critique group is one of the best things you can have as a writer :)

  23. I would love to take part in this, but I’ve started interning with a publisher and I have enough reading/critiquing to do as it is :( Good luck with it all!

  24. Thanks for coming by my blog and letting me know about this.

    I am interested. I like small groups between 2 & 4 people.

    I write a few genres like paranormal, sci-fi mystery, and a little bit of contemporary fantasy for YA and MG.
    I would read most anything but can’t promise my opinion would be as knowledgable as what I’ve currently been reading which is romance, paranormal, contemporary and a little sci-fi (not an expert on sci-fi though).

    My works don’t exceed 75k, but I would be will to take up to 100k.

    Let me know what you come up with. I’m a terrible blogger and have a hard time getting around the blogs often. Also, let me know if you end up registering for the SCBWI conference. :)

  25. M.J. Fifield says:

    Definitely interested!

    I agree that 2-4 people in a group would probably work best.

    I write mainly fantasy but also dabble in other genres from time to time. I’d be willing to read just about anything but I’d probably be best with upper YA or adult.

  26. anny cook says:

    I’ve taken part in several different groups. 2-4 people isn’t bad. About 20 pages per critique works well. A time limit for reply usually ends up being instituted. And an opt out should be set because life interferes.

    You might also want to find out average output per person per week/month/etc. For instance, I write about 7K per week as I write full-time. If the other group members only write part-time or a limited number of words, there won’t be a very equal critiquing set-up. In that case, maybe establish a limit for the week…

    Also…an established e-writer will likely have more quick output than a print writer. The submission/acceptance process is much quicker with the e-pubs so writers usually write more.

    Having said all this, I ultimately found a one-on-one partnership the best. I write “hot” romance and it’s difficult to find a critique partner willing to read that material.

    So, I think I’ll pass this offer by for now. Thank you for stopping by to let me know about it!

  27. dawnall says:

    I write YA and adult. My YA is in the Speculative/Paranormal genre and my adult pieces are mystery or suspense. I’m a professor also so my time is more limited. Shorter pieces would work better for me at least during the school year.

    Great idea! Thanks for sharing.

  28. Crystal says:

    I love this and I am SUPER stoked about it, but I won’t be able to participate right away.

    Small groups are the best, or linear exchanges. (Mostly one on one.) I have tampered with many genres, but prefer MG YA or Adult fantasy (historical and urban), and lean heavily toward paranormal or suspense. I’m happy to critique anything but literary fiction and straight romance.

    I can commit to short critiques (100-5,000 words) regularly, and prefer critiquing novels one chapter at a time. Mine books are between 60,000 and 120,000 words.

  29. Crystal says:

    I would love to be part of a critiquing group OR work one-on-one with just one other author. If a group, three to four would be best.

    I would be happy to critique any and all types of writing! As for me, I’ll probably mostly be contributing heavy (emotionally heavy that is) fiction geared towards adult audiences.

    At the moment, I’d probably be contributing shorter pieces (no longer than 3,000 words) and would probably be best suited time-wise to be reviewing the same.

    Thanks for the great idea! :-)

  30. I have participated and run crit groups. I have found that critiquing in chunks seems to work (no more than 5k at a time). Group has ranged from 4 to as large as 10. The larger the group the longer the window for responses were. In the smaller groups we could generally get feedback to group w/in a week. Most members also had jobs and family commitments. I have a completed ms and next project underway. I write urban fantasy and would be comfortable with any adult fiction.

  31. I’m in! Small critique groups are usually more productive when meeting in person (less chit-chat), but I’m not sure that would be true for online groups.

    My WIP is YA, I also write literary fiction, picture books and poetry.

    I would love to join a critique group that focused on first chapters or pages since they are so crucial.

    Nikki

  32. Thanks for dropping by my blog and letting me know about this.

    I’d be interested in joining a small group, maybe 3-4 people.
    I write upper YA fantasy – novel length 80k-100k
    1st draft is of current wip is almost complete.

    I’d be happy to crit YA & Adult fantasy, urban fantasy, & paranormal.
    Small chunks work well for me 3k-5k at a time, or chapter by chapter.

    Thanks again :)
    CherylAnne

  33. Trisha says:

    This is a great idea! Here are my answers:

    1. I already have a great critique group, however I am always open to joining new groups who can help me with my writing, and who I can help in return! As for size, I find that huge groups sometimes are more intimidating than say, a group of no more than 10.

    2. I don’t have any preference – but I guess people who are willing to read my genres, and who are fans of said genres, would be a good start.

    3. I do love a story that has some romance in it, no matter what genre it’s crossed with. I’d read anything from MG to adult fiction. The genres I write in presently are contemporary, contemp romance, sci-fi, fantasy and MG.

    4. Right now I don’t have any novels ready for entire critique, and I prefer to work on chapters at a time. I’d probably go for no more than 5k of writing at any given time. As for what I’d critique, probably no more than 5k again. Working on a chapter at a time works for me too. If I get given too much, I’m likely to leave it and never look at it.

    • I’m with you Trisha
      small chunks to critique are less daunting and time consuming than an entire novel. Though if it’s needed, i’d hope the writer would be prepared to wait a while!

  34. Hi
    Yep i’m keen! Definitely need a like-genre person or person’s to read what i’m writing to give me valuable feedback!
    Romance and Romantic suspense is what i’m interested in. Aiming for Mills and Boon and/or Single Title.
    What a great idea!! Keep me posted :)

  35. Akoss says:

    Chris,
    Thanks for stopping by humble side of the blogverse to let me know about this. It sounds like a very good idea.

    1- I do have one critique partner whose work is going to require my full attention once it’s finished. But I’m interested in a group of 3 to 7 max for critiquing.
    2- I write mainly fantasy/paranormal mixed with multicultural aspects, for MG and YA. I will be more useful to someone writing in the same genre, but I’m open to reading and critiquing anything else, except Erotica and Verse (fiction) and also Poetry. I just don’t know enough in those areas yet.

    Thanks again, and keep me posted. (I do have your blog saved now).

  36. PK Hrezo says:

    I would be open to a small group, focusing on MG / YA only. Thanks!:)

  37. Mike says:

    I’m interested in joining a critique group that has sci-fi, fantasy, urban fantasy, or speculative fiction as either a genre or sub-genre. In other words, I wouldn’t mind YA if it also has those elements.

  38. J E Fritz says:

    I’m definitely in the ‘need critiques’ camp. I have a 75K MS that’s desperate for outside opinions and would love to work with a small-ish (under a dozen) group.

    I also never balk at critiquing another MS. I’m never mean but always honest, and I’m good at continuity, comprehension, and seeing when things don’t flow in the story.

    Since my work is YA (dystopian to be specific), that’s probably where I’d be best, although I’m good with adult mysteries and horror, too. Romance, not so much.

    Thanks for the opportunity. This is a great idea.

  39. Pam Torres says:

    I am very interested. I am currently focusing on some middle grade MS and one is definitely in need of outside critique. I think small groups work best. Kind of a cool idea to facilitate a match.com kind of critique partners. Keep me posted.

  40. This is a great idea. I would be interested. I read and write YA. I specifically write YA sci fi/paranormal/romance. Would love small groups 2-3 max.
    I currently have a few people I share my work with, but am open to meeting more people to help me.
    Thanks.

  41. Regina says:

    I would be open to it. I write adult and YA. I write paranormal/romance and contemporary. A group no bigger than 4 would be perfect. I also read anything.

  42. Mary Mary says:

    Nice idea! I’m currently in a critique group and, to be quite honest, I prefer having the in-person experience with my critique group. Best of luck to all, though!

    Oh, and thanks for stopping by The Random Book Review!

    Mary Mary

  43. Hello! I’m not a Crusader yet, though I want to get in on the next one…

    I’d be glad to join a crit group if you’ll have me. Like others have mentioned, a small group would probably work best.

    I’m willing to read full manuscripts (or shorter). I write hard SF for adults, and I’d be glad to read any flavor of SF or high/traditional fantasy for adults. Dark is welcome.

  44. Thanks for stopping by Writes By Moonlight to let me know about this.

    I already belong to a critique group, but am open opportunity. Exchanging smaller chunks is preferable.

    I’m interested in a small (3-5) critique group. I LOVE anything paranormal and dark fantasy with/without romance in either adult or YA. I’m open to other genres as well.

  45. Thanks for dropping by and letting me know about this. I could definitely use a couple of critique partners and I’m willing to return the favor as long as it can be paced to a manageable level (maybe 50 pages at a time). I am interested in mainstream / literary.

  46. Susan Fields says:

    I would be interested in either one-on-one, or a group, as long as it was small. I’m interested in exchanging full-length novels (I’ve written a 58,000-word novel and a 95,000-word novel, so each critique takes a lot of time). I write and would like to critique YA fantasy, sci fi, paranormal romance, dystopian, anything along those lines.

    Thanks for organizing this!

  47. Hey! Thanks to everybody who commented!

    I believe that I’ve sent out possible matches to everybody who expressed an immediate interest in a partner or group, with suggested combinations.

    Probably not all of my notions will pan out on the first try, but I’d be interested in hearing, and if you wanted to get matched and didn’t get your email, try commenting again and letting me know that you were missed?

  48. Ahhh! I’m too late in responding!!! Does anybody want one more CP/Beta reader???? :0) Christy

    I’d love to find a small group 3-4 people to swap work with. I’d love CPs for offering advice/crits/braistorming/troubleshooting throughout the writing of a novel, and/or just getting started on a new one, and/or a beta to swap completed work with. Right now, I have a couple of friends I swap work with occasionally, but I’d love to have more opinions and to see more people’s work.

    So far I have two (almost) completed YA novels. One is a confused genre with aspects of paranormal/sci fi/romance (60 k) and the other is contemporary romance (40k), my third will be sci fi.

    I’ll read any MG/YA.

    • Corrie says:

      Hey Christy! I’m late to the show too, but also write/read ya romance and scifi. If you see this, wanna give it a shot and exchange a chapter or something?
      Corriegarrett at gmail d0t com.

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