Wednesday, September 25, 2013

To Critique or Not to Critique -- Jennifer has the answer

The Pros and Cons of Joining a Critique Group
By Jennifer Hallmark
Joining a critique group was a positive step on the road to my career in writing. I began by joining a large group, for me, it was the American Christian Fiction Writers. There are other great groups out there including Romance Writers of America and Mystery Writers of America to name a couple.
Within the ACFW, I found a large critique group, Scribes, and joined it. With over 200 members, I sent my book, one chapter at a time to the group and received a variety of critiques ranging from grammar to flow of words to personal opinions. I also had to critique a number of other people’s chapters. I met wonderful people there, but it soon overwhelmed me trying to keep up with the pace. The lady over the Scribes group suggested I join a small group within the large group.
This was a great decision for me. I exchanged chapters with five other ladies of similar tastes in reading and writing. I’ve been involved in this small group for several years now and have had wonderful comments and tough critiques about different WIP (works in progress) I’ve sent through. The best part has been the friends I’ve made, some who have joined me to form a writing blog, Writing Prompts & Thoughts & Ideas…Oh My!
(Do come by and say hello sometime!)

If you’re trying to decide whether or not to join a critique groups, I advice you to take the plunge. I’m getting ready to send this article to the group and gain one more critique to add to the knowledge of writing. Critiquing with others who are not only honest with their assessments but soon become friends forever is well worth your time. It has definitely been this for me.  

I’m gathering new information concerning writing every day.
Question for you? What have you learned from the benefits of being a part of a critique group and what kind of advice would you give to someone in search of one?
Drop us a comment or question. 
If you are an aspiring writer or are recently published, Shirley looks forward to offering a giveaway of your choice of one of her most recent historical romances -- 
(Your choice of either paperback or ebook)
Flame from Within,
Decisions Book One -- Say Goodbye to Yesterday,
Decisions Book Two -- That Impossible Dream.  
Looking forward to hearing from you!
Jennifer Hallmark is a writer by nature, artist at heart, and daughter of God by His grace. With over 160 articles on the internet, her attention has moved to southern fiction. Jennifer has published several short stories with Harpstring Magazine and Christian Fiction Online Magazine within the last two years. 
Readers and writers can visit her website at and drop by her writer’s reference blog where she and her friends, Christina, John, and Betty, share together.  



  1. I am in a critique group too. I love it. Thanks for sharing. Please add me to the list of giveaways. I've learned so much. One thing is seeing where I can improve and having the chance to see others improve as weeks go by.
    Betty F

  2. Being part of a critique group almost forces a writer to improve her craft. When critting friends keep telling you what you're doing wrong, you quickly learn how to improve your writing skills. My writing has improved greatly over the years that I've been in the ACFW group - with Jennifer and Shirley. ; )

  3. Thanks for dropping by, Betty and Connie!

  4. I've learned to be patient and a little more understanding. We all have something to learn. Others can see things we miss.

  5. There's nothing better than a GOOD critique group where friendships develop along with our writing skills. It serves to keep you writing, as well. Knowing I have to get another chapter ready keeps me on task. Reading all their chapters keeps me motivated. Their successes help me believe I can succeed too!

  6. I couldn't agree more, Betty. They definitely keep ME going! :)