10+ Ways to Find a Critique Group
Finding a good critique group can be an essential part of the writing journey. Below are tips and resources to help new picture book writers discover a group.
1. SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators)
Members of SCBWI have a couple of ways to find and join groups. First, each regional chapter offers a list of open critique groups. Second, writers can seek critiques and critique partners through the SCBWI Blueboard discussion boards.
I made a quick video explaining how to locate critique partners through SCBWI.
2. KidLit411 Manuscript Swap (on Facebook)
"This page is a place to connect with other kid lit writers to swap manuscripts. The way it works is simple. Post what kind of work you write, what kind of feedback you are looking for, word count and how many "eyes" you'd love to have look at your manuscript. It's a low commitment way to get your work critiqued, and a way to find critique partners. Please visit us on our website for kidlit info and resources: www.kidlit411.com"
3. Sub It Club Critique Partner Matchup (on Facebook)
"At Sub It Club we are all about submitting well. Getting your worked critiqued is one big step on the road to making that happen. Writers of any genre from novels to nonfiction, children’s literature to magazine articles and beyond are invited to join our Critique Partner Matchup. Illustrators need critique partners too and we invite illustrators to join the group as well! Post looking for a partner or answer other’s calls for critiques. Join us and get that work polished up for submission! Find out more about Sub It Club at subitclub.wordpress.com"
4. Seek other writers through classes, literary organizations, or bookshops
Most writing classes include a critique component, and students can continue to meet after the class ends. This applies to both online courses and in-person courses. You might also find local writers by posting signs at your local library or bookstore. Check KidLit411 for a list of online classes and writing challenges through which you could meet other writers seeking to form a group.
"The Writers Match is an online community website that helps you find other writers to discuss ideas, review work, and connect on projects. Just like your local coffee shop, The Writers Match provides you with a safe, trust-worthy environment to connect with other like-minded individuals. Established or on-the-rise – if you’re a writer, you’re welcome to join. The Writers Match is for writers, by writers and best of all, it’s free!"
6. Inked Voices
"A platform for writing groups and an online space for writers. For hundreds of years—thousands if you count the Socrates school—writers have come together to read one other’s work and exchange feedback. Inked Voices is a platform built for that process. We’re a place for writers who want a community of support and learning while sweating in the trenches of drafting, revising and rewriting. With Inked Voices, writing groups and workshops can collaborate intimately despite distance and strange schedules. We are not a giant critique forum, but a collection of small workshopping communities. If you’re looking for a better way to run your writing group, help finding your own small community, or a tool for workshopping in your class or MFA program, we would be glad to help you."
If you are looking for an in-person group, you may find one by searching for "writing group" or "critique group" on Meetup.com.
8. #PBChat and other hashtags on Twitter
Many writers are active on Twitter. Try posting under the hashtags #amwriting, #writingcommunity, #kidlit, or #PBChat to reach out to other picture book writers who may be looking to exchange critiques.
Critique Circle is a website where writers can earn "credit" by giving critiques and then receive critiques on their own stories.
10. CANSCAIP (Canadian Society of Children's Authors, Illustrators, and Performers)
Canadians may be able to find other writers through their local CANSCAIP group.
11. The Writers' Loft (Boston area & virtual)
The Writers' Loft in Hudson, Mass., is a fantastic resource for writers of all genres. Critique groups meet regularly online, as well as in-person (during non-pandemic times) and are open to all. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org.