Our guest blogger today is Vanessa Fortenberry, author of the recently released Christian children’s book, Mama, I Want to See God.

critiqueSome may ask, “Why should I join a writing critique group?”

Scripture states, “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17). 

While exposing your manuscript to the scrutiny of others may seem daunting, especially amongst strangers, belonging to a critique group offers many benefits:

  • Members provide varied perspectives about your writing projects.
  • You meet other writers who can provide you with support and encouragement.
  • You receive constructive remarks about your manuscripts in a safe environment.
  • You enhance your own writing skills when critiquing other members’ work.
  • Members may bring a wide-range of professional experience from the craft of writing to the publishing industry.
  • Members may help support and promote your book.

In making a decision to join a writing critique group, research the groups in your area to find the best fit. Basically, two writing critique groups exist: in-person and online. Consider these points when making your choice:


  • You leave your place of seclusion to collaborate face-to-face with local writers.
  • You receive immediate feed back.
  • You develop trust which may foster lasting friendships.


  •  The location of where you live doesn’t matter.
  • You experience the flexibility and convenience of posting your work from home or work; day or night.
  • You receive extra time to review a group member’s work prior to providing feedback.

Whether you choose an in-person or an online writing critique group, prepare and submit your best work. Establish specific goals regarding the kind of critique you want. Listen with an open mind. Writers who desire to excel will consider all comments and recommendations. Ultimately, you make the final decision as to any changes you make.

NOTE: Prior to submitting this blog, I sought feedback from the Stonecrest Library Writers Support Group (in-person) to which I belong.

What’s your perspective or experience in belonging to an in-person or online writing critique group? Can you offer additional benefits to joining a writing critique group? Can you recommend a group in your area? I welcome your comments.