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I'm Looking For My Critique Crew
It's time to level up our writing, but, first, let's build the space we want to grow in.
Critique. It’s one of the most sought after activities within the writing community. We all reach a point in our writing when we realize we need another set of eyes on our work before we send it off to our readers. Friends and family can be helpful, but constructive criticism from colleagues in the trenches of the writing experience is the gold standard.
It’s time Stop Writing Alone becomes a place where you can find that. However, I don’t want to design it alone, I want to invite you into the conversation about what a modern day, compassionate, inclusive, constructive critique group looks like. Those of you who join me in this conversation will be a part of the inaugural Stop Writing Alone Critique Crew.
Why Do We Have to Plan This?
Writers who have worked with me know that I do not enter into critique relationships lightly. Active members in the Stop Writing Alone community and listeners of the podcast also know that I believe there is discussion to be had surrounding what a modern day critique group and experience looks like. In the most recent seasons of the Stop Writing Alone Happy Campers Club, this has been a very active conversation, especially since the publication of such books as Craft in the Real World by Mathew Salesses and The Anti-Racist Writing Workshop by Felicia Rose Chavez.
Many writers who have entered into writing workshops, critique groups, or even in the pursuit of their higher degrees have been discouraged, silenced, or plainly misunderstood due to a practice that was not welcoming of diverse voices and/or stories. However, most of us learned how to participate in critique in this exact way, as if it were the only “right” way to engage in the activity. I believe we must actively work together to unlearn this before we can begin to practice something new.
The First Chat
If you are interested in joining me on this journey which will culminate in a brand new aspect for the entire Stop Writing Alone community, or are at least curious about it, then I invite you to the Intro Chat on Wednesday, January 25, 2023. In order to accommodate as many time zones as possible, I will hold this chat twice, once at 12pm Eastern time, and again at 7pm Eastern time. Here is the info you need to join:
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 870 2830 8092
It would be very helpful to know what size group to expect for these meetings, so if you could RSVP here, that would be awesome! (this polll will only be active for one week, if it expires before you read this, that does not mean you are not invited!)
The Preliminary Plan
While I expect to discuss this more in depth during our chat later this month, what I am aspiring to accomplish with this first Critique Crew is:
In January (one meeting), we gather up who’s going for the ride
In February (two/three meetings) we read and discuss Craft in the Real World (and possibly other materials… this is where the discussions come in)
In March (five meetings/weeks) we design and practice our new model(s) of critique amongst ourselves
In April-May (seven meetings/weeks), the first Stop Writing Alone Critique Camp will launch to EVERYONE!
What’s In It For You?
I’m not going to lie, I am asking for a dedicated group of people to devote time and creative energy to this process. I hope that the exchange will be worth it for you. First of all, aside from expanding your own horizons and knowledge base concerning the world of critique, the for the month of March, your writing will get the eyes you have longed for from a group of writers as heavily invested in the process as you are — including me! Secondly, the active and participating members of the Critique Crew will have a very well deserved *special entry fee* for the first Stop Writing Alone Critique Camp this Spring, if they are interested in diving even deeper into constructive criticism of their work(s) in progress!
Invite Your Writer Friends
Do you know a writer who needs to be a part of this conversation, or has been looking for this kind of group? Don’t forget you can share this post!
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A Note of Thanks
I also just wanted to drop a quick thank you in here to the one and only Susie Taylor. I completely forgot to send out an Event Reminder for this morning’s Write-In, but I didn’t have to write this post alone, because Susie joined me anyway!