ECRITIQUE GROUPS

 

Ecritique  |  How to critique

Critique is a vital part of a creator’s life. Take a look through all the options below to find which one would suit you best. Good luck in finding a great group and good luck with your writing too! 

Don't forget to come and tell us about your publishing success over at Words and Pictures – the SCBWI BI online magazine.

 

How to use the SCBWI BI Critique Group Finder

a)     Firstly, you need a Facebook account. It is free to get one. Just go to www.facebook.com and create one, if you already don’t have one.

b)     Go to SCBWI BI Critique Group Finder and request to be added as a member. One of the admins will add you after verifying that you are a legitimate writer/illustrator and not a spam request.

This is not instantaneous, so please be patient. All SCBWI moderators and admins are volunteers and sometimes it might take a few hours before someone can get to this.

c)     Once you are in the group, then introduce yourself with the following details included:

- Where are you from?

- Do you write picture books, young fiction, middle grade or YA?

- Do you write and illustrate or just illustrate or just write?

- What do you do when you’re not writing or illustrating? (Are you a teacher, librarian or taxman – some details)

- Are you looking to start a group or join an existing one?

- Are you published?

- Do you write regularly or is this a one-off?

There's no science behind this. But we’ve been running critique groups for a long time and these are the kind of things critique group partners would like to know before they join up.

d)     Browse the group, search the group (via the search box) to see if there's already a conversation ongoing about a similar group i.e. if you're a picture book writer and there's another writer asking about the same – then respond to them and join up. 

Before you start critiquing, it might be helpful to take a look at this article we wrote for all our members about how to critque.

 

How to set up your own Critique Group

Before you setup the group, please read this article we wrote for all our members about how to critque.

There are three simple options for those who prefer ecritique i.e. when you communicate with critique group friends rather than travelling to meet each other.

 a)     Email – the simplest option that has worked before the birth of distribution lists, blogs and Facebook.

Once you have identified a small group of people (at least 3-5 up to a max of 8 is ideal), Add Friend in Facebook – and then send a Facebook message to each other with your email addresses.

Once you all have each other’s email addresses, then you can kick-start your group.

Email all of the members with a short intro about yourself. Then make sure you decide the following:

- When you will start sending stories to everyone 

- How often you will send material

How long each piece can be

How soon a critique should be done for all submitted pieces

Group etiquette e.g. if someone has a deadline at work or ill, can they suspend participation? If no one has posted anything, who should remind everyone?

- What group member can post to each other like publisher news, SCBWI event notifications or anything else – like the movie you watched

What happens when someone wants to drop out? How will you fill their place?

- Agree that you won’t show and discuss each other’s work outside of the group.

b)    Facebook Groups – Facebook Groups have very good functionality to post images and text and comment on each other’s writing. You can setup a secret group in Facebook and exchange your stories.

There's a lot of information on the Facebook help pages about setting up a group, posting files and images and commenting.     
    
All you need is for everyone in your group to have a Facebook account.

Once your group has been setup, and the members are added in, decide on the following before starting to critique:

- Who the Facebook admin will be – it's a good idea to have more than one admin

- When you will start sending stories to everyone 

- How often you will send material

How long each piece can be

How soon a critique should be done for all submitted pieces

Group etiquette e.g. if someone has a deadline at work or ill, can they suspend participation? If no one has posted anything, who should remind everyone?

- What group member can post to each other like publisher news, SCBWI event notifications or anything else – like the movie you watched

What happens when someone wants to drop out? How will you fill their place?

- Agree that you won’t show and discuss each other’s work outside of the group.

c)    SCBWI Blue Boards – You can set up a new critique group or join an existing one at the SCBWI website.

First go to www.scbwi.org and login with your membership details. Take a look at the FAQ and Help pages to find out more about how Blue Boards work. 

If you're setting up a new group on the Blue Boards, first of all make sure that everyone is a member and then, as above, decide on the following before you start:

- Who will be the moderator – it's a good idea to have more than one moderator

- When you will start sending stories to everyone 

- How often you will send material

How long each piece can be

How soon a critique should be done for all submitted pieces

Group etiquette e.g. if someone has a deadline at work or ill, can they suspend participation? If no one has posted anything, who should remind everyone?

- What group member can post to each other like publisher news, SCBWI event notifications or anything else – like the movie you watched

What happens when someone wants to drop out? How will you fill their place?

- Agree that you won’t show and discuss each other’s work outside of the group.

Looking for a critique group or partner?

Here at SCBWI-BI, we are keen advocates of critique, whether you've been published for many years or you are at the beginning of your journey to publication.

Looking for a face-to-face critique group?

Browse our network pages, find your local SCBWI network and get in touch with your local organiser to find out about any groups near you.

Geographically challenged and can't meet a critique group face to face? 

We have some wonderful options for you:

 - We have created a Critique Group Finder Facebook Group just for SCBWI members and friends. Here you can meet others who are looking for critique partners or groups and join up.

- We have many SCBWI members from all over the world congregating on the Blue Boards at the main SCBWI website. Here you can find critique groups from all parts of the country and perhaps there'll be just the one for you.