Critique Group Procedure / Tips for a critique group

Annie's Special Day book cover

Annie’s Special Day book cover
Can’t get enough of it. *Yay*

Hi Readers! Today I came across these Critique Group procedures and I don’t even know where I got them. I know I copied them from a link thinking they would be useful for my critique group. And if they are good for me they certainly would be good for you so here I want to share them with you. Tell me what you think in the comments, OK? 

 I’ve posted another image of my book cover this week as the link is now fixed for the E version at  and anyone wanting this can download a copy. 

This is turning into a critique series of posts for my blog. Last week the Oreo Method and now these.  Hope you find it helpful.

• Email your RSVP to the group in advance of critique meetings.

• Clear any visitors with the group before meeting time.

• Share writing related news as the group gets settled.

• Distribute copies of manuscripts to members and determine critique order (based on previous meeting and number and type of manuscripts). Write your name on the copies you receive.

• Writers suggest a focus for the critique of their work.

• Read and write comments on the manuscript to be critiqued. Picture books may be read aloud by a person other than the author at the writer’s request. Allow time for members to formulate their critique comments.

• Critique counter-clockwise beginning with the person to the right of the writer.

• Refrain from defending or apologizing for your work as it is critiqued.

• Raise your hand to signify that you arrived at the same thought expressed by another member of the critique group.

• Add comments to another’s critique by keeping hand up.

• Refrain from making oral comments when your written ones will be obvious to the writer.

• Sign, date, and return copies to writer.

• Follow up on topics or requests made at previous meetings.

• Confirm future meeting dates.

I’ve used these in my crit group. We usually do some of the tips here. We read our manuscripts aloud

critique of Mlynn04 by Matthew Lynn

critique of Mlynn04 by Matthew Lynn (Photo credit: modezero)

usually by someone other than the author so she or he can hear how it sounds because most picture books are read aloud to the kids and it’s important to hear the flow and rhythm of the book. We found that even when we read our own ms aloud it sounds different when someone other than ourselves reads it.

Our group is small enough that we don’t loose orderliness by not holding up our hands so we don’t do that either. We just speak our mind when it seems right. And we have experimented with writing down our crits or just saying it and letting the author write them down. I like it when all the others write down their views on how to improve the ms rather then all the crits be oral. It’s hard enough hearing all the comments and to try and write them down, too makes it even harder. I’ll let you know how it goes. OK? I know I’ll be printing these out for us to use I have a sneaking suspicion that I was to do that anyway.

And on another note, I’ve set up a face book page for my author self at  , author. Will all you readers be so kind as to click over and ‘like’ it for me? I appreciate it. 🙂

About ClaraBowmanJahn

Journal writer. Author of "Annie's Special Day" And coauthor of Edmund Pickle Chin, A Donkey Rescue Story." Proud mother and grandmother of wonderful kids. Wife of brilliant husband. Servant of two cats. Member of Pennwriters and SCBWI.
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17 Responses to Critique Group Procedure / Tips for a critique group

  1. Thanks for this post. This is interesting to me because I am just learning what a critique group is and how helpful they can be. 🙂


  2. Enjoyed this post to Clar, thanks for passing on your findings.


  3. Jarm Del Boccio says:

    Good to remember, Clar…although I have an online critique group, some of these can apply. I’ll go over now and “like” your page!


    • clarbojahn says:

      Thanks, Jarm. Marketing my book is a daunting job. I know a web presence is necessary but oh so hard. I’ll do a post on it soon. 🙂

      Glad you can use some of these tips. 🙂


  4. You are so fortunate to have such a helpful critique group. I like the suggestions you shared. Good for groups to adapt/follow!


  5. Darlene says:

    Great suggestions! I liked your author page too.


  6. Joanna says:

    I do long for the day of having a face to face crit group, though I am appreciative of my on line group. One thing I like about the online group is it is harder to defend and apologize for one’s work!


    • clarbojahn says:

      Haha, I see. Yes, apologizing for your own work doesn’t get it good does it? ha ha.

      I found these people from the SCBWI conference I went to and we all signed our name up to the same list “Looking for a critique group” and then the emails came. I was just the one who stepped up to find a meeting place and time. 🙂


  7. Love the banner on your new FB page, Clar!! And thanks for the crit group info.


  8. Great tips, Clarike! The like the hand-raising one. When I was in a critique group, there were a lot of interruptions. This hand-raising tip would have avoided a lot of those problems.


  9. Pingback: I’ve Been Critiqued, Now What? « Sherrie's Scriptorium

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