Social Media and Critique Groups

Thursday, October 15, 2015
by Wonderlane (Flickr)
I've written about my critique group on here before--the Lit Ladies. You know I'm very fond of these women and forever grateful that they keep me moving toward my goal of someday becoming a bestselling author. But we are also busy women with a lot going on in our lives, and we also live all over Missouri and Illinois. So it is hard for us to:

  1. Find time to write
  2. Find a time and place to meet
This is difficult when you are supposed to be encouraging each other's writing habits and critiquing work. But in the last six months, I feel like we have become creative and are not letting time or distance stop us! 

Last month, we had a virtual write-in. Although my life was super crazy that week and I didn't get to participate how I wanted, here's what we did. One of our members set up a private event on Facebook for the virtual write-in, and then she invited all members of our critique group. Once we all accepted, we could write on the event page, and only the attendees could see what we wrote. Throughout the 2.5 hour period, we caught up on life and writing projects; and at home, we wrote. We then updated our progress on the Facebook event. 

We also had "word wars." One of our members would type, "GO!" and then for 15 minutes, at our own houses, we wrote as much as we could without stopping (a mini, mini, mini NaNoWriMo). At the end of this time, everyone who participated put their word counts on the Facebook event. 

This was a great way to stay in touch with each other and motivate one another to write and work on our WIP in a month when no one had anything to critique--because no one had been doing much writing.

Next week, we are going to try Google Hangouts for our critique group. We have used Skype before, but we have 3 members who cannot physically attend our meeting. So we thought we would give Google Hangouts a try. This week, members sent their writing by email for critique. Each of us is supposed to read and critique before next week. Then during the meeting time, three of our members will get together at one house, and the rest of us will join using Google Hangouts. I'm wondering if anyone has used Hangouts for something like this before. If so, please let me know in the comments below.

It is difficult to juggle everything if you are not a full-time writer--work, home, kids, family, and more. People are moving all the time for jobs and school, and so when we find others we trust with our work, we don't want to give them up. Social media can help us stay connected to our peers and keep us producing! Have you used any social media platforms with other writers for critique or anything writing-related? 

Margo L. Dill is a children's author, living in St. Louis, MO. She also teaches novel writing and children's writing in the WOW! classroom. Find out more at: .


Unknown said...

Great ideas, Margo! Critique groups could also set up shared Google documents (via Docs.Google or which members can type on concurrently (or separately) for co-writing, critiquing and/or chatting.

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