The Value of a Writing Critique Group
As the leader of the local South Carolina Writers’ Workshop (SCWW) chapter, I receive inquiries about our organization almost every week. For those who do decide to visit and join our group, I know they have made a great decision. Why?
Our chapter offers a lot to any writer, whether beginner or advanced. Not only do we assist each other with writing improvement, but we do it with respect. We have a lot to offer with a mix of experience, from newbies to published authors, and a wide age range, from members in their early twenties to members in their seventies. When a writer in our group succeeds, we come together to support and celebrate with them. The karaoke parties\celebrations are the craziest, but we have fun.
Many of our writers joined our chapter without any publications to their names, often in the early stages of learning how to write. It's exciting to see each one succeed, and many of the members of our group, including myself, have won awards and published novels, short stories, essays, and poems.
We meet twice a month and typical attendance averages around twelve people, which allows us to critique nine different writers during that time. Feedback starts with positive points, and progresses to constructive assistance.
After each meeting, many of us go out to eat at a nearby restaurant. These gatherings make the difference between existing as just a writers’ group and forming close friendships.
Why do you need a writing group?
- Knowledgeable feedback from people who understand the writing and publication process
- Celebrations of successes and a guarantee that if you win an award or launch a book or hold a book signing, someone will show up
- Proofreading that goes beyond typos and checks the accuracy of your facts or whether a fight scene, or love scene for that matter, works
- Encouragement when the rejections pile up
- Information about writing contests and other opportunities
In many ways, the writers in our chapter are some of my closest friends. How else can I let them analyze and tear apart my babies, my cherished words?
Do you belong to a writing group? What benefits have you gained?