March 05, 2010

A Critique Group? - Gwen Mathieu

Last Fall I started a writer’s critique group. We meet in the Fireside room at our church twice a month. There have been up to four Inscribe members attending along with three non-members.

A critique group has many advantages. One is a chance to build new “writer” friendships. We have a great time over a cup of coffee, laughing and kidding each other but sometimes we are brought close to tears; our emotions bounce back and forth depending on what we are listening to. Even yesterday, I became indignant with a character, in one of the stories read, for being so cruel.

Another benefit of belonging to a group is the discipline it demands. If you tend to be a sporadic writer, like I am, then a group will keep you at the keyboard. Our group spurs me on to edit a few poems and articles I started earlier, to move on with the historical novel I started over eight years ago or to come up with something fresh and just plain write.
Another asset is the encouragement we receive from each other; to hang in there and use the gift God has given us.

A real plus in belonging to a critique group is our listening skills become sharpened and our writing skills are honed. We each come with a teachable spirit and leave with more insight in the craft of writing. A lot of times, as we read aloud, we pick up on the errors before they are pointed out by others. We are challenged to write, to improve, to perfect, to learn.

So, all I can say is, join a critique group!


  1. Gwen, you're up! Wonderful!

    Thanks for the peek into your writer's group.

  2. Gwen - thanks for sharing this! I was nodding along thinking "yeah, that's what I want!" Still trying to get a regular group going here, but it's coming. :)

  3. Thanks Gwen, you are so right about getting to know each other. I have found that by reading my work to others I have opened my heart and have become more 'vulnerable'. Painful and joyful experiences that I might not normally share with others end up on paper. When I read them aloud it humbles me and strengthens my bond with others. It is a blessing and benefit that you don't expect when you join a writer's group!
    Plus, like you say, it is highly motivating to write when I know we're meeting every other Thursday to read our work!!
    God bless you and your writer's group!
    Pam M.

  4. A good report, Gwen. I rejoice with you and am encouraged not to give up my hope/dream to also be part - or start - such a group.


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