Sunday, August 18, 2013

Critique Group Week: Meet the Wallingford Writing Group!

 Because it's almost fall, and because that means hunkering down and getting those revisions just right or that first draft completed, it's time to start thinking about who is going to be honest with you. As in, who's going to tell you that your plot has gone off the rails, or that your main character is boring? I hereby dub this coming week Critique Group Week, a special late-summer treat for everyone in SCBWI-WWA. We're featuring four amazing groups of dedicated folks who demand a lot from themselves and each other. If  you're curious about starting your own group, or have had a group that's plugging away, see if these success stories can help inspire you when the weather starts to be anything but inspiring!

The Wallingford Writing Group

[from Brooke Fisher]
Although things in life are often too big or too small, as we learned from Goldilocks, sometimes you get lucky and find just the right fit. Our five-person writing group, which has been meeting twice a month since late 2010 at a Wallingford coffee shop, feels just right.

With a focus on picture books, early readers and middle-grade, our members have a variety of experience levels. Two members have taken Peggy King Anderson’s class; two completed the UW certificate program for Writing for Children; and two are currently completing the UW certificate program. We attend the SCBWI Spring Conference and share the “important stuff,” such as professional manuscript critiques, rejection letters and relevant market info. We are supportive and strive to help each other succeed.

We bring different strengths to the table, which benefit us all: naming characters, plot, poetry, developing characters with strong voices, humor and dialogue, and sending out meeting reminders!

In addition to our meetings, we gather for writing retreats every few months, meeting at a member’s house to share an enjoyable afternoon of food, writing tips and encouragement. The goal of each retreat is to submit at least one manuscript.

Fun Facts:
* One member read 1,000 picture books in just a few months.
* One member has published poetry in seven children’s magazines, including Highlights High Five.
* One member received a 2011 Honorable Mention in the Barbara Karlin Grant contest for unpublished picture book writers.
* Combined estimated rejection letters since we’ve been meeting: 30

1 comment:

Wendy Wahman said...

What a great group you are!