How do you really know if your work is good enough to get published? You could send out manuscripts to agents and publishers, but who wants to waste a stamp on a manuscript that isn’t worthy. Let a critique group help you put your best foot forward with agents and publishers.
Usually criticism is something that nobody wants. Here, it is supposed to be helpful. A romance critique group is a gathering of your peers for a mutual purpose – to create good works of fiction (or nonfiction) in hopes of getting published. As such, each person has to bear their soul in order to pass the trial by fire.
Finding Critique Groups
Critique groups exist wherever there are writers. It is a beacon for kindred spirits to follow. Some are separated by genre or simply by geographic location.
So where can you find one? Start with the local newspaper. Groups that hold meetings in your area will often advertise in the classified pages or special sections devoted to community happenings. Places with meeting areas like libraries and community centers host writer critique groups. Check their bulletin boards for more details. Make sure you’re looking specifically for romance writers. There are generic writing groups however it’s generally more useful to join a genre specific group where you can glean industry information, and genre specific feedback.
In local groups, there may be one or two people who have been published. Some may work in the writing industry as editors, freelance writers or publishers. There are no tried and true qualifications for being a part of the group except that you love writing, want help with your work and are willing to offer helpful suggestions to others as well.
Online Critique Groups
Here, you have more diversity and a greater chance of finding just the group that you are looking for. Online critique groups can be found:
- On writing websites
- On blogs
- In writing forums
You can form friendships and writing connections that may not only help you to write more polished prose but get published in the future. Usually, in online groups, everyone who is a part agrees to read at least one manuscript or story and provide honest feedback for the writer. Each participant knows that while some feedback may sting, it is meant to help you grow as a writer.
Writers who participate in critique groups can even pair off after they get to know each other. Sometimes, one or two people can mesh with your style of thinking and writing so much that you tend to gravitate towards them for advice and help. They can become your critique partner and the person whose opinion you value most outside of your critique group.
All writers are advised to find some sort of community whether online or off to help feed their creative juices. Many of these communities also support critique groups. They are valuable in helping you perfect your craft as a romance writer.