The Writing & Critique Group Survival Guide

The Writing & Critique Group Survival Guide

How to Give and Receive Feedback, Self-edit, and Make Revisions
by Becky Levine
Writer’s Digest Books, 2009
ISBN 978-1-58297-606-8
$18.99, paperback, 304 pages

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Read an Excerpt
Learn how to choose a writing group that’s right for you with this excerpt from The Writing & Critique Group Survival Guide.

Read an Exclusive Q&A

Critiquer extraordinaire Becky Levine discusses her book, the benefits and joys of writing groups, and the writing life in this exclusive Q&A.

The worksheets from The Writing & Critique Group Survival Guide are available as free PDF downloads. Feel free to print them and make copies for use in your writing critique group.

Finding/Starting a Critique Group
Critiquing Fiction
Critiquing Nonfiction
Critiquing Books for Young Readers

About the Book

Trying to finish your book? There’s strength in numbers.

Whether you’re trying to revise your novel or polish up an article to pitch to magazines, it pays to have a few sets of eyes look over your work. But, how can you be sure you’re getting an unbiased and objective opinion?

A writing critique group may be the answer you’re looking for, and this book arms you with everything you need to find a group that suits your specific writing needs. Whether you’re looking to join an existing group or start one of your own you’ll learn how to:

•    Find compatible critique partners
•    Develop your “editor’s eye” and analyze writing like a professional
•    Construct organized and well thought-out critiques
•    Give and receive constructive feedback
•    Run efficient critique meetings and maintain a good group dynamic
•    Apply the feedback you receive to your own writing and make revisions

Complete with worksheets, sample critiques and examples, The Writing and Critique Group Survival Guide gives you tools to hone your editing skills and deepen your understanding of how to revise your own work as well as someone else’s. With the help of this guide your writing critique group can be a helpful resource for you and your writing partners for years to come.

About the Author

Becky Levine is a writer and speaker living in California’s Santa Cruz mountains. Becky was a freelance manuscript editor for many years, and she has participated in critique groups for almost two decades, working on her own fiction and nonfiction projects. She has also written feature articles and book reviews for local publications. Becky speaks regularly at writing workshops and conferences about the benefits and the how-tos of critique groups. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Books and Illustrators (SCBWI), Sisters in Crime (SINC), and the California Writers Club (CWC).
Becky lives with her husband and son, as well as a cat and a cockatiel. She writes in an office surrounded by oaks and eucalyptus and the occasional deer. You can learn more about Becky at her website and blog

Table of Contents


Section I Introduction. Getting Started: The Basics of a Critique Group

Chapter 1: Choosing the Kind of Group That’s Right for You
Chapter 2: Joining or Setting Up a Group
Chapter 3: Running a Group
Section I Worksheets

Section II Introduction. Telling the Story: How to Critique Fiction (for Adult, Young-Adult, and Middle-Grade Readers)
Chapter 4. Critiquing for Plot
Chapter 5. Critiquing for Character
Chapter 6. Critiquing for Point of View and Voice
Chapter 7. Critiquing for Dialogue
Chapter 8. Critiquing for Description
Chapter 9. Critiquing for Scene Structure
Section II Worksheet
Section II Examples

Section III Introduction. Getting the Facts Right…and Interesting: How to Critique Nonfiction
Chapter 10. Critiquing a Magazine Article
Chapter 11. Critiquing a Nonfiction-Book Proposal
Chapter 12. Critiquing a How-To or Self-Help Book
Chapter 13. Critiquing a Memoir
Chapter 14. Critiquing Travel Writing
Section III Worksheet
Section III Examples

Section IV Introduction. More Than a Formula: How to Critique Books for Younger Children

Chapter 15. Critiquing Picture Books
Chapter 16. Critiquing Beginning-Reader Books
Chapter 17. Critiquing Chapter Books
Section IV Worksheet
Section IV Examples

Section V Introduction. What to Do Next: How to Revise and Self-Edit From a Critique
Chapter 18. Making the Easy Changes
Chapter 19. Tackling the Big Stuff

Section VI Introduction. In Years to Come: How to Maintain an Evolving Group

Chapter 20. Brainstorming
Chapter 21. Critiquing for Submission
Chapter 22. Networking and Promotion
Chapter 23. Troubleshooting Group Dynamics

Appendix A: Suggested Reading List


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