If you saw my post last week, you read about the 5 critique partners every writer needs. But now, I’m going to clue you in on how to find those critique partners.
Finding critique partners can be hard. Everyone is busy, so you need to find people who can make the time to help you (but you also need to be prepared to help them in return- that’s where the “partners” part of it comes in.) So where can you look to find people willing to read your work?
1.) Writing Conferences
Almost all my critique partners have come from people I’ve met at writing conferences. It’s an easy place to ask what someone writes to see if you might have similar styles. If you can’t afford to attend one in person, look into online conferences like WriteOnCon, where the critique forums are open free for all to use.
2.) Twitter Pitch Contests
Follow the feeds on major pitching days like #Pitchmas or #PitMad. You’ll find fellow authors whose work is in the same genre as you and who may be interested in helping.
I know, there’s STILL that whole contingent of people out there who say you shouldn’t have family read your work, but let’s say your sister is an English major, then maybe it’s not such a bad idea.
4.) Local Writing Centers
Many larger towns have writing centers. See if they know of anyone looking for a critique partner. Better yet, take one of their classes and see if you click with anyone there.
Unless you have a really, really good relationship with your local librarian, I’m not suggesting you ask them to read your book. However, they may know of other local writing groups or authors who may be able to help.
6.) MFA Programs/Degree Programs
Did you get an MFA in Creative Writing or take undergraduate classes in writing? Perhaps some of your former classmates would be willing to help.
7.) Book launches
If you find an author whose work you love, go to their local book launch or signing if they have one. Talk to others there. You just might meet a fellow writer.
Writers spend a lot of time in bookstores. Next time you’re there browsing your favorite aisle, why not strike up a conversation with the person down the row. Even if they’re not a writer, maybe they’ll be a new friend.
With many of these options, don’t blurt out first thing that you want that person to be your critique partner. Get to know the person first if you can, then ask. This especially applies to platforms like Twitter. Don’t message people out of the blue asking them to read your work if you’ve never even had a Twitter conversation before. Otherwise, good luck!
Let me know in the comments where you met your critique partners! And don’t miss next week’s post about what to look for in a critique partner.