Joined a critique group FINALLY

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:

Pre-title page sketch

Pre-title page sketch

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.