Workshop Armor

Two of my critique partners and I will be attending a weekend at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival in July. I am excited, nervous and all together petrified to be sharing a manuscript with fifteen other writers in the Picture Book Revision for Non-Celebrities workshop.

I have two critique groups: one multi-genre, the other is picture book. I am familiar with and know what to expect from each group. Their critique style is consistent and I have learned to respond accordingly when they provide feedback. Now I am about to add an intensive weekend of fifteen people I don’t know and a well published author…SCARY! Then again, is this maybe what I need to help focus and hone my next book that I want to send out to publishers?

Do we all need to change things up on a regular basis to help find new perspective? Will this help move us along the path to change? Offering one’s manuscript to the critique gods can often stir up old memories of manuscripts marked in red from beginning to end. Though this happens to me regularly, I do read the suggested revisions through a few time and decide a lot of the changes are a great idea and others are best left behind.

As a newbie, the critique group process has been essential in helping me develop as a writer. I am interested to find out how other people handle going into a new group of people to share work.

How do you apply armor so you don’t come out a wounded writer?

I enjoyed this Writing Workshop Etiquette blog post by Heather Hummel. Great tips on how to critique, receive critique and what you can take away from a workshop/critique group experience.


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