Posted by: Kathy Temean | July 29, 2012

Need A Critique Group?

Elena Caravela’s July “Out of This World” illustration reminded me that it doesn’t matter what color your hair is or where you are from to want to participate in a critique group.

It seems that a large amount of people are looking to find a critique group.  Since the New Jersey SCBWI website will be taken over on the National SCBWI main website, everyone is waiting for new info to be put up.  Over the last month I have told people they would have to wait.  It occured to me, I could post the information and help writer’s and illustrators look for groups.

Please make sure you include all the information from the form below.  Leave your information in the comments and I will pick it up and post a list on Thursday.  You do not have to be from New Jersey to list the information for forming a group.  You don’t have to want to form a meet-in-person group.  The Internet has given us lots of options.  You don’t have to be a writer, you can be an illustrator who would like to form a group with other illustrators.

Give some thought as to how you would like to run your group.  Try to keep it real.  Having ten people in your group who submit something everyday for critique to the group, may be too much for most people to fit into their busy lives.

Here is the form I came up with.  Please feel free to add any other information you think is neccessary for your group:

Critique Group Genre:

Critique Group Type – in person (location) or online:

When?  Where?  How often?

Critique Group level: Beginner, Mid-level, Advanced, Well Published

Critique Group Person Limit:

Critique Group Goal:

Your Name:

Contact Info:

Here are two people who sent me something, before I made up the form.  Perhaps there are some people who might like to contact them. 

New Group Forming in the New Jersey Ramsey, Mahwah, Allendale, Upper Saddle River, and Vicinity

Description: Critique Picture Books

Open to new members: Yes, new members are welcome

When: Thursday 7:30 PM (every two weeks)

Where: Ramsey Free Public Library

Contact: Debbie at

New YA or Middle Grade Group Forming in NYC

Aspiring YA writer is looking for other YA or middle-grade writers to form a critique group in NYC. Ideally, the group will meet at least once a month. Potential members should be open to reading others’ work, and ONLY give constructive feedback. Any other kind of feedback is unncessary. Interested writers should email

Please Note: Remember when applying for a group listed, you need to expand on your background to make sure you are a right fit for the group.

Thank you Elena for supplying the illustration for this post.  Elena Caravela has a new book  Portrait of a Girl and Her Art, which supports young visual artists, particularly young female artists through peer experience, multiple examples and guided inspiration.  You can see more of her work at:

Talk tomorrow,



  1. Thank you Kathy:)


  2. Critique Group Genre: Picture Books and Flash Fiction

    Critique Group Type – in person or online: Either, or both depending on schedules

    How often? twice a month, Hobcaw Cafe, Verona, NJ

    Critique Group level: Beginner to Mid-Level

    Critique Group Person Limit: 6

    Critique Group Goal: Give feedback, offer constructive criticism, share leads/contests/blog hops &fests for creative writing exercises

    Your Name: Tracy Bermeo

    Contact Info:
    Note- my own schedule is best for day time meetings once school starts.


  3. Critique Group Genre: Picture Book
    Critique Group Type – in person or online: Online or in person if in Knoxville, Tn area
    When? Where? How often? Once or twice a month. Online or convenient meeting place on Sunday afternoon if in person
    Critique Group level: At least mid level to advanced to keep me challenged and growing as a writer.
    Critique Group Person Limit: 6
    Critique Group Goal: Overall feedback, constructive critiques to help correct grammatical issues or character/plot weaknesses. Sharing of industry news, contests, blog hops or other pertinent writing information as necessary.
    Your Name: Donna L Martin
    Contact Info:


  4. I LOVE Elena Caravela’s illustration! The unique subject manner is charged with a sense of urgency, while exuding both beauty and movement in the art.

    The critique group idea is wonderful, Kathy! I’ve been trying to find one online, but haven’t had much luck. Here’s my info:

    Looking to form or join a MG/YA group.

    I’m open to either an in-person or online group.
    For an in-person group, I’d be willing to drive up to an hour. I live in southern NJ, close to where Atlantic, Cumberland & Glouster counties converge.

    Meeting once a month with a small group (no more than 7) would be ideal, as I need to read & re-read for full comprehension, and I want to be thorough.

    I’ve participated in critique groups during NJ SCBWI events in the past and have been lucky enough to work with experienced writers. This is how I know that I belong in the beginner to mid level catagory. I’m anxious to improve my critiquing skills, so I’m hoping to join a group with a mixed bag of skill levels.

    I learn quickly and play well with others–as long as they aren’t bossy people or ego-maniacs.

    My ideal group would consist of supportive writers with a genuine interest in helping one another wring the very best out of their work through honest, yet positive feedback and suggestions. Having someone to bounce ideas off of would be excellent, too.

    My name is Eileen Balesteri, and I can be reached at:

    Thank you Kathy!


    • Eileen, I thought you were writing picture books. Did I get mixed-up? Kathy (Sharing Children’s Writing and Illustrating Information)


      • Hi Kathy!

        When I first joined the chapter, I thought I wanted to write picture books, but for the past two years I’ve been working on YA & MG novels.

        It seems to be the direction the voice of my characters are pulling me, so I follow the voice.

        Besides, you must know I have trouble limiting my word count! 😉 lol!


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