I’m blessed to be a part of an amazing fellowship of local authors. Rockwall Christian Writers Group has met monthly since October of 2001 at LakePointe Church in Rockwall, TX. You might recognize the names of some of our members: Mary DeMuth and Anne Mateer (formerly known as D’Ann). We three musketeers head up the group and have also branched off to edit each other’s work on a regular basis.
You’d think that much critique might get me down. I tend to require more constructive criticism than the average bear. But it doesn’t because we make an effort to praise what’s good before we nitpick someone’s work in progress. I thought some of you might want to check out our critique guidelines. Feel free to use these for your own writer’s group.
- Manuscripts should be five pages or less, double-spaced, 12-point font, one-inch margins, header or footer with author name and page numbers. Bring enough for each person to have his/her own copy.
- A member of the group will read the work aloud while others evaluate as they follow along.
- Members write editorial comments on the manuscript. They ask questions, point out difficulties, and may suggest a different outline or approach. They may write a summary comment at the end and sign their name.
- Comments do not necessarily tell the author what to write, but suggest improvements to make the manuscript marketable. Members share a few of these comments with the group as time allows.
- Members should strive to give honest opinions, tempered with kindness. Be sure to make positive comments on the things that you like!
- The reader of the manuscript will act as the evaluator for a general overview and discussion, including a page-by-page evaluation of the syntax, word choice, and clarity. Punctuation and spelling are marked on the manuscript but are not covered in the discussion except when a rule is in question.
- During the group discussion, the author should listen and glean the valuable critique information. He or she may ask questions, but please refrain from (long) explanations of the work.
- No author has to accept or implement anyone’s comments. Take the ones that help; forget the rest.
- Authors are encouraged to revise and resubmit the same material (if desired) until the group believes it is ready for publication.
If you live east of Dallas, feel free to join us any time. We meet on the FOURTH Monday of the month in Room W-218 of LakePointe Church from 7-9:30 p.m. We’d love to see you there. Let me know if you need any other details or if you’d like to receive our email updates.