Monday, April 8, 2013

[Crash Course] How to Crit like a Pro

I’m still getting tweets and emails about this crash course. So, let’s do this thing.

DISCLAIMER: I have never done this before. This will be an experiment. It could go swimmingly or just plain well. Either way, the first round will surely encounter bumps and hitches and I ask for your patience in advance.

I’m going to run this like a mini-workshop. It’ll be off-blog and I’ll keep numbers small on this first round, but if my guinea pigs love it, I’ll do it as long as there’s interest from all of you beautiful blog readers.

Here’s how it’ll work. We’ll do this in groups of three and we’ll start with a face-to-face conversation about critique. Everyone will turn in a writing sample and will receive a sample from the two others in the group. You’ll write a crit letter for each sample, send them to me, and I’ll give you crit on your crit.

(How meta is that?)

You will then revise your crit based on my feedback before sharing it with the group. Everyone will read all of the revised critique letters, including mine.

I’m thinking we’ll end with another face-to-face chat, so this is going to be an intense process both time-wise and energy-wise.

To participate, you must agree to/meet the following requirements:
  • Have 50 pages or 15k words (whichever is shorter) to share for crit; 
  • Commit to reading 100 pages to crit within a week of the start of the crash course; 
  • Be able to commit several hours to preparing (writing, reading, and revising) critique letters;
  • Be at least 18 years old (this is for legal reasons – if you’re a teen and you’re interested, please let me know!); 
  • Be generally groovy. 
If you meet all of the above bulleted points, then shoot me an email at nataliecparker AT gmail with the subject line, "Crit Crash Course," and include the following:
  • Your name 
  • Title of your work in progress 
  • Genre (Adult, YA, MG – contemporary, historical, fantasy, sci-fi, horror, etc.) 
  • Pitch/Brief description of the work 
  • The first 5 pages attached as a word document 

DEADLINE FOR CONSIDERATION: 12pm CST on Saturday, April 13th!

I’ll do my best to pull together a group (or two) that seems well-matched and set up a start date. I’ll respond to everyone, though, so you will know if I’m tapping you to take part in round one. 

Did I miss anything? If so, drop your questions in the comments.

If you have friends who might be interested, feel free to spread the word. I’m doing this because I think writing is exciting, I think critique is exciting, and I think it’s most exciting when we’re pushing each other to do better. This is about pushing in the most efficient way. ;)

Also, if you’re looking for my previous posts on critique, just follow the tag “how I crit.”


  1. Replies
    1. That might depend on how this goes. There could be crashing and burning. Which, I suppose, doesn't negate the whole rock star thing.

  2. Lori's right. Rock on, Ms. Parker.

  3. Whoa. You took on a big task. I declare you a BAMF. I'm going to echo the above statements with this quote:
    You're not hardcore unless you live hardcore.