Today, I attended my first children's book critique group. I've been meaning to do this so am glad it finally happened. The group meets monthly at a local library in one of their meeting rooms and reviews and critiques illustration and pictures. The tables form a rectangle so we all face each other. First we do introductions, then we count the number of folks sharing and divide by 2 hours. Today, each person had 12 minutes. I shared my rough book dummy and read my story. Here's one of the more fleshed out drawings-in-progress:
BENEFITS OF A CRITIQUE GROUP
- Get out of your own head for a change
- Hear how others experience your work.
- Get encouragement.
- Share with other creators with similar experiences.
- Get unstuck and next steps.
- Get inspiration.
- Make new friends.
THINGS I LEARNED
- Bring several copies of your story text so folks can jot down their comments as you read.
- Bring clear images on a display board, as well as a pointer, so folks can gather round and easily see your story progress visually.
- Join several critique groups. More feedback equals more information for how to improve your work.
- Arrive 5-10 minutes early to greet everyone and build rapport. After the meeting, folks may not want to linger.
- Prepare your stuff the day before the meeting to avoid last minute craziness.
I'm looking forward to sharing revised work next month.