Tonight I’ll be meeting with my critique group. We meet every month on the first Thursday (well, this month we had to wait an extra week). It’s a great night filled with conversations about writing, eating food, and sometimes enjoying a glass of wine–after all, we’re all writers. We have good core group of six people. We write short stories and we have two novelists. It’s a good mix of sci-fi, fantasy, literary, and mystery. I guess I’m the wild card because one month I can turn in a horror story, the next a romance. Haha.

I’m a big supporter of giving and receiving feedback. I’ve been lucky so far with finding people who give great critiques. I’ve heard the horror stories and how frustrating it can be to find the “perfect” group or critique partner. Like I said, I’ve been lucky.

You can also learn a lot from reading the stories from other writers in the group too. I’ve realized some of my own weaknesses in their strengths and vice versa.

Funny story, I found my current group when I was working at Borders (RIP). I had just moved to California after graduating from Seton Hill, where I had critique partners for two years. I started chatting with a customer, who mentioned she was also a writer and she told me about her critique group. I found out later the moderator was an Odyssey graduate! I knew right away the group was my perfect fit.

It’s been two years and I’m so grateful for my group. They’ve helped me become a stronger writer, and thanks to their insightful critiques, I got two short stories accepted for publication last year.