A critique group for writers is something special - a group of individuals trusting each other with their creative babies, pushing, giving feedback, cheering, holding hands. Here we are celebrating the release of Robin Herrera's first novel - Hope is a Ferris Wheel. Yeah!!!!!!
I have been with this group for years now - have sort of lost count. Half the group are old timers and have been together even longer. Then we have some newbies who have only been with us for a few years. But long enough to have two children!
It has been wonderful to watch each other grow as writers and achieve success. The picture above was at a book reading for the release of Robin's novel. Nora Erickson has a picture book coming out soon. Roseanne Parry's third novel, Written in Stone, is up for an Oregon Literary Arts Award. Cheryl Coupe, Nora Erikson and Robin Herrera are graduates of the Vermont College MFA program for writing for children and young adults - (the rest of us vicariously have gone to school). Rosanne Parry, Michael Gettle-Gilmartin, Amy Baskin (not in the picture), Robin Herrera and Nora Erikson have agents. Michael is a prolific blogger. Everyone has great work. I would have given up writing years ago, if not for this group.
We meet every two weeks at Lyra's retirement home - sending work to be critiqued before hand via e-mail. We check in briefly, then take turns giving feedback about the writing. Everyone is respectful, but tough. "This doesn't make sense, I need more setting here, point of view isn't consistent, there is no plot!" There is also lots of support - "Keep going. this is great, I love where this is going." I need both scalpels and encouragement. Good writing is not a solitary endeavor. Thanks!