Online Critique Group Update


I am pleased to report that we have eight Online Critique Groups successfully running, covering all genres from Picture Books to Young Adult. In addition to those mentioned, two groups, a PB Writers/Illustrators Group and an Illustrators Group, are reforming and are looking for new members to boost their numbers.


Here are some positive comments about Critique Groups emailed to me recently.

Our Picture book group swelled to 6 members only a few months ago and it’s a good number I feel. Members are all keen and respond readily. David Cronin

We have a great variety of critique input. Great member feedback! John Tyrrell

I would like to say how much I have enjoyed being part of this critique group. I love reading everyone’s work and being able to offer my insight each week which will hopefully be useful to the writer. I love receiving the incredibly helpful and supportive feedback from others. Having many eyes on one piece of work helps with my learning and improving my work. Kaye Baillie

I agree with Kaye and it has helped my writing and has kept me accountable which means more words on the page. Ella Mulvey

I have found the group to be incredibly supportive and encouraging. Organisation of the group has been shared, a roster is maintained by Penny, but this has been flexible and adapted when members have been unable to contribute due to ill health or family commitments. Group members have offered critiques that have been constructive, highlighting both strengths and weaknesses of the shared texts and offering suggestions and comments for improvements as well as encouragement for aspects that they believe work well. My experience with my picture book critique group has been so positive that I consider access to the critique groups as a very valuable benefit of SCBWI membership and have encouraged several writers to consider joining a group. I know my own writing has improved as a result of my involvement in my group. Susan Whelan

 I think we all found the feedback and companionship useful and fun. Liz Duthrie

I am in one of the groups myself and I love the friendship, support and the wonderful suggestions and ideas I get from the other members.  Margaret Roc, Online Critique Coordinator

Online Critique Group Publishing Success

Deborah Abela work-shopped her first idea for a picture book in this group and had brilliant feedback that helped tighten and reshape the text. She is very excited that this book will be published by Random House in 2017.

So if you have been thinking that you would like to join a Critique Group but you haven’t got around to filling in the on-line form, now is the time to do so.

We would love to have new members, published and ‘keen to be published’, in all the genres to form new groups.  We would also like to supplement numbersin the following existing groups:

  • JF
  • YA
  • PB Illustrators only
  • Illustrators

Sign-up online and look forward to receiving constructive and useful critiques that will encourage and help you to re- shape and improve your art work or writing towards your publishing goal.

What to do after you receive your critique:

A critique gives you honest and direct suggestions on how you can strengthen your writing. The suggestions give you an insight into a professional’s point of view and therefore it is worth your while to take their suggestions seriously.

  • take some time to think about it
  • read the critique or your notes again
  • think about the rationale behind the suggestions
  • Ask yourself why they were made and how they would improve the work
  • Discuss them with other writers
  • Incorporate the suggestions into your draft and compare the before and after results
  • Remember the suggestions can be about the story itself or to do with marketability
  • In the final analysis it is your decision to accept or reject any suggestions offered

Margaret Roc, Critique Group Coordinator