What do you need to run a good critique group?
First you need people. But once you have enough people, running a good critique group needs something more than just kind words and cheerleading.
They need structure.
We’re working on tightening up our critique group structure in our SCBWI group and I feel like we’ve hit on a good formula.
- We use a Doodle poll to find a morning date and an evening date that works for the majority, but not everyone.
- We keep our day meetings at the coffee shop and our evening meetings at a local restaurant.
- We have a Facebook group and are encouraging members to share their work at least a week in advance.
- We ask a different member of the group to run each meeting.
- The meeting runner decides the total time we spend on each person and informs the group.
- The person running the meeting picks the writer we are starting with at that meeting.
- Critiques begin with the person to the left of the writer being critiqued. The meeting runner keeps track of time.
- Each person gives their critique and tries to include positive details and places that could be improved.
- We try to avoid chitchat during critique time and save it for when the meeting is done.
- We rotate jobs!
How do you run your critique group?