Guidelines for Participating in Critique Sessions
To get feedback on your writing
- When it's your turn, tell us the type of work:
- first chapter of a novel
- personal essay
- poem for a collection
To give feedback to other writers
- When others read, notice what you think worked well.
- Also notice what you think might be better.
- Focus on the craft rather than the subject matter.
- Make as many notes for the writer as you can. Phrase comments in the first person, as "I think" or "I didn't understand." Or ask a question, "What if you....?" rather than as an instruction, "You should...."
- Join in the discussion when you want to. Say what you think, but don't insist. When there is disagreement about a certain point, the leader might ask for a show of hands so the the writer can get the reaction of the whole group and factor that into his decision.
- Remember that no one is expected to do as you say, only to consider your suggestions.
Handy Lists and Crib Sheets
- On Craft: Beginners
- On Craft: Writing Scenes
- Participating in Critique Sessions
- Snappy Introductions
- Critique List
- 101 Ways You Can Use Your Writing Talent
- 30 Things to Write in Thirty Minutes
- Manuscript Lengths
- Sample Format for Query or Cover Letter
- Sample Manuscript Format
- Tips for Public Readings
- Writers' Affirmations