Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Conference Report - Critique Groups

This is my penultimate Fall Conference post.  I figured I should write these last two posts before I attend the Spring Conference in a few days.

In the Fall Conference, I attended three different workshops.  I've already described the "Promoting Yourself," and now I will describe the second workshop I attended on critique groups.  It was presented by a panel consisting of Michael Shinn and Chayton Chandler.

To be honest, I couldn't pay much attention during the first part, as I was about to meet with the agent Dan Lazar.  I did get the main gist that critique groups are essential for any writer's development.  It's one thing to send out samples to all your friends to critique, but those guys are probably going to be nice to you.  A critique group, on the other hand, offers people who are not your friends.  These people write stories just like you and they also want to be critiqued; so you meet, swap stories, get out a red pen, and fix each other up.

After meeting Dan Lazar and reeling for thirty minutes after, I went back in to finish out the workshop.  By that time, they had moved on to reasons why a critique group breaks up.  I think the idea is that you try to avoid these things from happening.  Michael Shinn was nice enough to catch me up on what I missed after the workshop.

I know I must next find a good critique group, but I still have no idea where to find one.  I'm having trouble finding other local sci-fi writers.  I also fear that I may experience one of those things that breaks up critique groups.  I also don't have much time to meet with a group every week.

I may look into an online critique group - which I hear sci-fi writers like to use. 

In either case, I need to find a good critique group somewhere.  When I find one, I'll let you know how it goes.

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