Your Ultimate Guide to Finding and Keeping Critique Partners

Thursday, January 18, 2018

So…you have a finished draft of a novel? Congratulations! Most aspiring writers never get that far, so already, you’re ahead of the game. But now what? You know enough to know that you need readers. But who? And where do you find them?   First of all, you need qualified readers. Not your neighbor, or your sister’s boyfriend’s cousin, no matter how many books per year they read. You need…


The Beta Question

Monday, January 15, 2018

The above quote from the inestimable Neil Gaiman is a lot of why I’ve had beta readers since my fanfic days, but have never had a dedicated critique partner in another writer, at least not since leaving school. Writers have a much, much harder time resisting the urge to say how we would do something — which is not always helpful when talking to another writer. I think it can…


Finding A New Crit Partner Is Like Dating

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Starting grad school four years ago, I thought I had the writerly thing down. After all, I worked in big New York media and then got a degree in screenwriting. But I was a total fiction newbie, and there plenty of things I learned the hard way. Like about workshopping. And trading pages. And even trading fulls. The bottom line? I learned about developing relationships with other writers — especially…


For The Love of Critique Partners

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

It’s hard to believe now, but it was only two and half years ago when I finished my first (never to be seen again, thankfully) book. Like the brand-new baby author I was, I wrote THE END, spent many hours researching how to write a query letter, and then started querying. At the same time I started following a handful of writers on twitter, and I kept seeing “CP” written…


Writing Communities & The Myth of the Lonely Writer

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

When I started writing my first book–my “practice” book–I had no idea what I was doing. I told when I should have showed. I had no writing schedule, and as a result it took me six years to finish the book. There was no outline to follow, and I only thought about tension as it related to the bike in my spinning class. My characters were at times clichéd in…


How to Pick Up a First Reader

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

It’s a lot like dating, really. You meet another writer at a conference or at a book festival or writer’s workshop, and while you make small talk and try to ask subtle questions like “So what are you reading right now?” in the back of your mind you’re really wondering Is this it? Is this THE one? And eventually, maybe after sitting next to each other 3 days in a row…


Five Tips for Finding Your Place in the Writing Community

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

1. Look locally. Are there published authors in your community? Go to their book signings, even if you don’t know them personally or they write in a different genre than you do. Authors have nightmares about doing readings where no one shows up (just see this Onion article). They will always be happy to see interested faces in the audience. And, if the reading ends up being small, as many…