I have waited to publish this article. It took place three months ago but it is still something I want to share with you.
My first SCBWI, (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators), Picture Book critique group was a huge success. I had garnered the names from the piles of names given us after the October SCBWI, Mid Atlantic Conference and sent out blanket emails for those interested in picture books and the Leesburg Area to return my emails. It took most of Nov and December and then I had a list. But it was decided to wait till after the holidays to meet.
Finally mid January — holidays are over- I sent a blanket email announcing the obvious and could anyone meet Feb. 10, two pm.? Most could. I went to the library and requested a room which fortunately was vacant for that day and time.
We had a grand time getting to know each other and what we were writing. Then we critiqued three manuscripts. I and another didn’t get to have a crit. I wasn’t ready and for the other person there just was not enough time. We’ll go first the next meeting. In a month.
One person had the perfect manuscript for Highlights magazine. We critiqued it and found very few things wrong with it. We gave a few suggestions and hope she submits it. I hope she comes the next month to tell us what she did.
The way I used to do crits was to read the manuscript silently to ourselves and write down the suggestions on the ms. Someone here in this group suggested since our books were going to be read out loud to have someone read our ms out loud and tell the author our suggestions. It worked great. No ones feelings got hurt that I can see and most wanted even more suggestions than we could give. I told the group about the Oreo method and we stuck with that. Most had some idea of how to critique and had done it before.
We’ve met three times since then and it has been a boon to me.(I keep forgetting to ask if the Highlights Magazine submission got accepted.) I’ve heard others say it’s real helpful to them, too. I’m so glad I have this critique group.
And another good thing: I am here today as well http://chergreen.blogspot.com/ just as an author’s opinion, not as a whole guest post. Note I said author? IS that bad? Spouting of at the mouth and then saying I’m an author? Remember my post of Aspiring Writer vs Author? I still question. Especially since I don’t have a print book yet. Maybe once I see it. See the real book, I’ll feel better for it. I’ll feel like an author. Having a book that doesn’t download properly doesn’t quite make it. Anyway, check it out OK? Maybe it’ll be interesting to you. Cher has some interesting questions. See you there.
My photo is of my children’s book which is having some more delays in publishing. Although some people can get an E version from http://www.etreasurespublishing.com/ not everyone can get it downloaded properly. The publisher is committed to making it work. It can be difficult to keep a web site working properly. Soon my Nook, Kindle and Amazon links will go up. And sooner still a print copy is coming out. Yippee! I’ll be sure and let you know when that happens OK?
Do you have a critique group and how do you give your critiques?