At least five books, with more on the way, have come out of our critique group, Kidlit Café, made up of all children’s authors. (See our covers below.) We created our name when we began meeting in the Border’s Books’ Café until it went out of business. Now we meet in a coffee shop where lots of other writers, chess
players, and coffee lovers meet. We number six, though for various reasons, not all attend each weekly two-hour session. We eat salads and bagels, talk, and critique each other’s works in progress. It’s all about our writing, giving each other constructive feedback, and eventually getting published.
We like each other and trust each other–after all, we’re putting our “newborn” in the hands of others. Being part of Kidlit Café is probably the best thing that’s happened to all of us. Here’s why critique groups are good for writers: 1. New sets of eyes will see things in your writing that you don’t. 2. You will receive honest, helpful feedback about your writing. 3. You will see mistakes that other writers make that may relate to your own. 4. You will be with others who understand your passion for writing. 5. You can also exchange information on writing query letters to agents, pros and cons of indie publishing, why and how to set up your social media outlets, names of publishers looking for your particular genre, ideas for marketing strategies, and how to find an illustrator. 6. You’ll make new friends and “cheerleaders.” 7. You’ll be inspired and encouraged to finish your work for publication. Each critique group has its own “rules.” Kidlit Café may be more casual than others, but we always offer genuinely positive comments plus honest feedback on weaker areas of each piece of writing. We’re our own support group, having connected through the 385-member Redwood Writers branch of the California Writers Club. Had we not joined Redwood Writers, we may not have met. And I daresay that none of us probably would have gone on to become published authors. As you can tell, I’m a cheerleader for critique groups!