Historical Romance

Historical Romance with an Inspirational Touch

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Critique Group Anyone?

I love my critique group, which I have said several times now. We all write historical romance, which is a benefit. As I am sure you know, there can be a huge difference between contemporary and historical and we found it was easier to stick with historical than explain some of the oddities found in regency romances.

I’ve learned more than I thought possible from my group and they have helped me grow as an author in several directions. And, we are a successful group. When we first started, only one had a publishing contract. Now, four more of us do and others have gone on to win several contests, had requests for full and partial manuscripts, and are for the most part more secure in their writing than ever before. This alone is proof of why a good critique group is essential to any serious writer. At least in my opinion.

There is only one drawback to my group, if you can call it that. I am the only one not writing for the secular market. I have written a few sweet novels, but have yet to pursue publication of these. The two books that are contracted I consider inspirational. Yet, I am not comfortable with this because I need to learn much more about the inspirational market. Mainly I am afraid I’ve broken some of the rules of the Christian market.

Though I would never dream of leaving my current critique group, I am toying with the idea of starting a second one. This critique group would be for the Sweet and Inspirational Romance author, only. Before I embark on forming such a group I would like to know if anyone else would be interested in joining such a group. I know I could learn from each of you and hope that you could learn as much from me. If you are interested, please contact me privately at amydetrempe@gmail.com and I will be happy to send you more information on how the group would work. I will pattern it after my current group since it seems to work so well for everyone involved.

I am curious. How many of you belong to a critique group, or have in the past. Have you had good experiences?


  1. I'm in a crit group and think it's great! I wouldn't be able to join yours but I hope you get some great writers. :-)

  2. I've been in one and found it helpful but one group member was too negative so I dropped out. When I need help I have several friends I send my articles or poetry to. I'm currently writing family histories and may be starting a local group in my community in January 2010.

  3. I'm in a small online one that was recently formed. So far it is great-- they have helped me tremedously. We are also considerate of our schedules and life changes so that is nice. If I wasn't in one already-- I would have LOVED to join yours! I know Tamika wanted to join one if you know her:)

  4. I am in a local crit group, and I write non-fiction, so I won't be a good candidate, but I'm sure you'll find some great romance writers to join with you, Amy.

    Audience of ONE

  5. Not having been in one, I have questions... Is it important to find a group that writes in your specific genre? What about subcategories? I would like your thoughts on how your current group does not meet your needs. It would help me decide what to look for in a critique group.

  6. Since I don't write books, I am not in a crit group - - but before I send out letters to workers or even publish simple things like bulletin announcements, I generally get a second opinion on content and wording - - and to see if I've made a simple mistake.

  7. Jessica, I am so glad you are happy with your critique group.

    Lin, I am sorry you dropped because of a negative experience. In my current group, me and the other co-owner actually read critiques form newer members until we are confident that they will critique nice but honest. We never allow a negative comment and have called people out on it.

  8. Terri, I am glad you have a critique group you are happy with. I will have to look for Tamika or if you talk with her, send her my way.

    Jeanette, I also glad you have a critique group you are happy with. I think it is one of the most important things for a writer.

  9. Lily, I think it is important to be in a group that writes the same genre. The first group I joined was "romance" which was historical, contemporary, fantasy, . . . . I also learned very quickly it was more tilted toward the erotica. I write Inspirational and Sweet so it was very tame in comparison to what I was critiquing and some of the other writers kept wanting me to add in intimate scenes. After a few groups, my critique partner and I became co-owner of a critique group for historical romance for the publication in the United States. We also insist on "critique nice but critique honest". There are nice ways to tell someone something needs to be fixed without crushing their writing spirit. I am in a great group of authors and I have grown as a writer because of them. They meet all of my needs except one. I am targeting the inspirational and sweet markets and each writer in the goup writers for the historical secular market. The ONLY reason I am looking to form a new group is I want a group of writers who are familiar with the Inspirational / Sweet Romance Market because I am still learning about this market. I have no intention of leaving my current group, but am looking to join a second group focused on Inspirational and Sweet Romance.

  10. MissLynda,
    I am all for have a second set of eyes on almost everything I write.