Tips on Finding a Critique Group by Cheryl Malandrinos

Since the beginning of my career, I’ve felt critique partners are vital to a writer’s success. My family and friends can tell me they like my story. They might even be able to give me some suggestions on how to improve it to their taste. But they might not be able to provide the right kind of feedback or maybe they are uncomfortable telling me something is downright awful.
I’ve been a member of different critique groups for more than a decade. Some have been online or via email. My most recent group meets monthly at our local library. If you’re looking for a critique group, here are some helpful tips:

Decide what kind of group is best for you

This might be tough at first, especially if you’ve never been part of a critique group. Questions you might ask yourself are:

·         Would I prefer an online group or a group that meets in person?
·         Am I looking for a group where we write to prompt and then read what we wrote?
·         Am I looking for a group where members read something they have previously written?
·         Is it important to me to be in a group where all the members write in the same genre?

Ask questions

Before joining any group, don’t be afraid to ask questions of them too.
·         How often do you meet or, if an online group, how often do members submit? 
·         How many members do you have?
·         Am I expected to read each week?
·         How many pages do members submit?
·         How long has your group been meeting?

Sit in on a meeting

If the group meets in person, contact the coordinator and ask if you can come to a meeting to observe. This will give you an idea how the group runs, how the members interact with each other, and what type of feedback you can expect.

As to how to find out about actual critique groups, check out writing associations you belong to, attend a conference or retreat and network with other writers, or check in with your local librarian or bookstore manager. There are plenty of online groups as well.

Every critique group I’ve been a part of has made me a better writer. They help me see my writing in new ways. They inspire me to continue when I’m not in the mood or something in a story isn’t working. Critique groups are an important support team no matter where you are in your writing career.

Cheryl C. Malandrinos is a freelance writer and editor. She is the author of Little Shepherd, A Christmas Kindness, Macaroni and Cheese for Thanksgiving and the recently released, Amos Faces His Bully. A blogger and book reviewer, she lives in Massachusetts with her husband and two daughters. She also has a son who is married. Visit Cheryl online at and her children’s book blog at



About the Book:
Author: Cheryl C. Malandrinos
Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing
Pages: 20
Genre: Christian children's picture book

Amos is targeted by the town bully because he is so small. When word reaches Amos of his friend David's battle with Goliath, he thinks back to what David told him about putting his faith in God's protection. Perhaps the same God can help Amos face his bully too.


Guardian Angel | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | 


Cheryl said…
Thanks for hosting me, Marilyn. I hope your readers enjoy this article.
I've been in a critique group since 1981--same group, people have come and gone, learned more from this group than any class, conference or book. Thanks for your tips on finding the right one!

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