HOW CRITIQUE GROUPS EXCHANGE AND CRITIQUE PAGES

When asked how their critique group communicates with each other, here’s what WFWA members said:

- A says: We alternate weekly by email. We send a document with our writing to all members and then reply all with our critiques so we are able to learn from each other. This works well for us. And sometimes we brainstorm, which I love.

- K says: We do Google docs and insert comments. Emails help for further discussion as needed.

- S says: We exchange pages via email on the first Wed. of the month, then provide email feedback by the third Wed., then have Skype meeting on the last Wed. of each month. We have 3 in our group and send 3 chapters more or less.

- G says: My group of 4 emails their submissions (3500 words max) the 1st and 3rd Wednesday and return critiques (using track changes in Word) within a few days of each submission. Then on 2nd and 4th Wednesdays we have a video chat using Zoom Meeting. It takes 1-1.5 hours

- J says: I'm part of a group of 3, and we do email exchanges of chapters biweekly. We started with one chapter but now we've switched it to two. We also use track changes and comments, and are always available if someone needs a larger big picture read-through, or a synopsis critique. If someone doesn't have anything new to submit that particular week, they still critique for the other two.

- T says: We use Google Drive for submissions. We started out with everyone submitting up to 15 pages every 2 weeks but we recently decided to reduce it to once a month and up the maximum page count. It seems to be working quite well so far. I know I am grateful for the wonderful comments I received.

- C says: At first we were very structured. We set up our own Yahoo group. We swapped a set amount of pages, like 50, attached to email, and set a target date to conference call which eventually led to video calls via Skype. Now we're at the point where some of us work at different paces. I write full time, non-stop. J writes in grand spurts. B has a very demanding job that can take her away from writing for months and months. So now, whenever one of us has material that needs a look, we send. I'll have an Act 1 in the next week or so. They'll both read it. Give me a high altitude view, which is exactly what I'll need. When they have something I drop what I'm doing and read it--synopsis, chapter, novel, doesn't matter. We also correspond about anything because we've gotten to know each other pretty well. I think that's part of what makes it great.

- M says: Our 3-person critique group emails between 15-30 pages every two weeks and conference calls again every 2 weeks, We each are free-form in our comments, but usually it's a mix of comments within the manuscript and then more over-arching comments about character arc, plot, writing style, etc. Very helpful.

- In addition: Some groups set up a secret Facebook page for their informal communications.