If you’re serious about your writing, you need to bite the bullet and let other people (read: other writers) take a look at your work. It’s ideal that you develop this practice early in your authoring career–not so much as a means to develop a thick skin, but as a way of growing and honing your craft. I’ll be the first to tell you that seeking out critiques on your work is not the easiest thing in the world to do. It can be very difficult, in fact, to secure beta readers for your writing projects. That’s where the Critters Workshop comes in. It was recommended to me by Lindsay Buroker and boy am I glad that she brought this place to my attention! 

Critters Workshop is an online writing critique community for authors, aspiring authors, and writers of all types! Depending on your style of writing, you can become a part of different workshops and critique other members’ submissions and submit your own work to be reviewed! It is AMAZING. I love being a part of this community and already, I am reaping the benefits of having other writers take a look at my chapters.

If you’re worried about people ripping your work to shreds, you can lay aside that fear right now. That’s not what this place is about. Now, don’t think that you won’t receive suggestions, because you absolutely will. Welcome them. These people are taking time out of their busy lives to read and critique your work. They’re not going to waste energy on being “mean” or “offensive”. In fact, the creators of this website have taken great pains to train up their “critters” to be polite, diplomatic, and helpful. There are several detailed website posts about rules for critiquing, methods for conveying a critique in the most helpful way, and pitfalls to avoid. This place is about edifying other writers and building each other up–not tearing down each others’ carefully cultivated self-esteem.

To be a part of this online community, you need to be serious about your work. It takes commitment to be an active member. You will need to regularly contribute critiques for other people’s’ work in order to have your own reviewed. This workshop is not for the faint of heart or someone who’s just looking to receive casual feedback. It is serious business. If you are serious, however, please do check out the Critters Workshop and consider becoming an active member! It’s free to join, but you will have to participate, as I said.

If you’re looking to become a member or to simply find out more about the Critter’s Workshop, check out their FAQs.

 

Critiquing Your Work: Critters Workshop Time!
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  • I never knew about Critters Workshop but now that I have, it sounds amazing!

    Wow! Thanks for that!

    I’m lucky enough to have a personal friend who works as a professional editor. When he reads my work, he reads it like any average reader but then suggests improvements and I then I make the changes and save myself so much money on an editor because I also understand how to edit my work.

    Some writers underestimate the usefulness of a beta reader and early critiques, but they are so useful. And in some cases – depending on a writer’s knowledge of grammar and punctuation – you could save so much money because you don’t have to hire an editor.

    Thanks for posting this!

    • Yeah, Critters is AMAZING. You should definitely check it out. If you join, you’ll probably need to critique at least 1 submission a week (to keep up your ratio), but it is SO worth it. You get to read awesome stories and meet cool people. So far, I’ve gotten some really great feedback on my work and everyone has been honest, fair, and very descriptive with their suggestions. I can highly recommend the place. 🙂

      As far as editing goes, I’ve done the editing by myself for a while, but finally found a TREMENDOUSLY wonderful editor. Her input is invaluable to me and she really does catch things I never would. She’s a great resource and I’m learning so much from her. Out of the goodness of her heart she reads my manuscripts (several times) and I’m so thankful for her. It’s great to have awesome connections. 🙂

  • It is good to read about people not ripping apart your work – that is one of my greatest fears. My writing style is…different – mostly due to the way my brain works I think. I love more dialogue and less explanation and descriptions, which can bother some people apparently. I can’t form visuals from reading how something looks, so maybe that’s why I can’t write it either. It took me 6 hours to write a short description (as in, 100 words? lol) for my character.

    I think I will save signing up for this once I have time. Although I’m not much for critiquing others other than for obvious things like grammar, so I don’t know how much use I would be. 😡 But thanks for telling me about the site ^.^

    • It’s great to have variety among writers like that, though, Cassandra! Not all books need to be description-heavy. 🙂 My husband has a hard time visualizing while reading, too. If you ever were interested in joining, people get multiple critiques on their chapters, so if yours were typically grammar-related, that would be totally fine. It’s great to have a variety of critiques (some grammatical, some developmental, some structural, etc.) Thanks for stopping by, Cassandra!

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