It has been a while since I’ve opened up the blog to a Critique Connection. Writers are always asking me how to find critique partners so I periodically make a post where y’all can introduce yourselves in the comments and hang your “I’m looking for a critique partner!” shingles.
It’s simple: Comment below, list your email address (I recommend spelling things out like “mary at kidlit dot com” just so it’s harder for people or bots to spam you), and describe your project, the genre, the audience, whether it’s finished, and what you’re looking for out of a critique experience. For example:
Hey! I’m Mary (mary at kidlit dot com) and I’m working on a 75,000 word YA about space hamsters and the women who love them. I’d like a critique partner who vacuums my living room and cooks me dinner, but I’d settle for someone to give me feedback on my first three chapters.
Only try not to be a cheeky monkey in yours. Leave a comment or browse them and reach out to people who might be a good fit for your work. There are no guarantees here, but I’ve heard of several groups who have met and mingled as a result of these posts, so I keep doing them occasionally to give writers a chance to connect.
In other news, there are two workshops that I highly recommend, one through a lot of personal experience. That one is the Big Sur Writing Workshop put on by my former agency, Andrea Brown. It is truly phenomenal, a hands-on opportunity for close, personal attention on your pages from talented faculty and other writers. The registration deadline was last Thursday but there just might be more room, so it never hurts to double-check. If not, you should put this one on your radar, and know that it recurs every December and March.
Also on the west coast and a bit later in the summer in case you can’t get into Big Sur or need to scrape together pages or finances is the Oregon Coast Children’s Book Writers Workshop. I haven’t had any experience with this program personally but it is another interesting option to consider if you’re looking for the kind of intensive manuscript attention that’s a huge help for writers working on their craft.