Back to the question posts. I was asked, How can you find good critique partners?
Okay, this I’m not an expert on by any means. I know there are sites that match up critique partners, but I don’t know enough about them to recommend which are better than others. (Update: But there are plenty of experts out there! Just check out the comments. Such great advice!)
I’ll tell you how I got mine, in case it helps you find some.
One of my CPs is Erin Summerill. She was one of my bffs years before either of us became writers. When I decided I wanted to plow forward at full steam, I wanted a buddy to do it with. I knew that Erin had enjoyed writing a little before I met her, so I decided to try to talk her into plowing ahead with me. Turns out she had been closet writing! And she had already gotten to the same I want to do this for real place I was! That "talking her into it" took about as long as it took to get out the words "Wanna be my writing buddy?" (P.S. Talking one of your friends into writing is a great way to get the ultimate kind of writing partner.)
Erin and I took a semester-long class together where the teacher split us into writing groups for critiquing. We got to test-drive our group, if you will, during the semester. One of the guys in our group, Jason Manwaring, worked really well with us, and the three of us managed to also snag someone else we really loved working with-- the teacher’s aide, Rob Code. It’s been three years now, and the four of us still meet weekly (unless that’s not possible) and submit a chapter at a time. (P.S. Going to writing classes is a great way to meet writers with the same goals as you.)
Another of my CPs is Jessie Humphries. She lives six hours away from me, but she was one of 450 people at a conference Erin and I attended, and we happened to sit by her at lunch one day. Jessie pretty much rocks, so it wasn’t hard to become friends. We both started blogging at the same time, so we became a mini blog support group and later, critique partners. We send each other our completed manuscripts. (P.S. Conferences give you great chances to chat with other writers who are also serious about writing.)
Another CP is my friend Marie Criddle. About a year and a half ago, she guest posted on a blog I regularly read, and I followed the link to her blog, where I discovered that she is BRILLIANT and so much fun. I stalked her for a long time before I got up the guts to email her. We discovered that we got along great, and eventually traded manuscripts. She lived a couple of states over, but I actually got to meet her in person once before she moved across the ocean. (P.S. Reading blogs is a great way to get to know other writers.)
So, I found my CPs in a friend, a writing class, a writer's conference, and through blogging. I guess the answer is, get to know as many writers as you can, through whatever means works best for you. You’ll find people you love to chat with and chances are, if you love to chat with them, you’ll love the type of stuff they write, too. But I'd highly recommend becoming friends first. It'll make everything go so much easier.
How about you? Do you have critique partners? If you do, how did you find yours? (If you're looking for CPs, check out the comments! Everyone will probably fill in all the gaps I missed.)(P.S. Thank you, commentors!)
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