Critique Groups are for writers in the process of longer works, where they share work, elicit feedback, and build their own feedback skill.
Critique Groups meet one time per month, at the same day and time, and are year-round. They cycle from September to August, with new registration renewed each year for those returning. A year in one of our Critique Groups usually consists of 11 meetings. Most writers in these groups spend several cycles from beginning to completion of the work they’ve workshopped in the group. Often, they begin a new cycle with another piece, using the skills they’ve learned to move forward.
Some Critique Groups meet in person, some online. Some are hybrid. Often, the meeting venue is left up to the process of the facilitator and their group of writers. Each Critique Group is associated with a public library, whether they meet in person or online, and is considered part of that library’s offered event calendar. We try to offer groups in as many local libraries as we can, and will continue to grow this program. If you don’t see us in your library calendar, you might next year!
Seven Bridge Critique Groups are fun by a facilitator who makes sure that all writers feel safe and comfortable sharing, and who teach and encourage feedback skill- building. Many of our facilitators are published authors; most are present or retired teachers; all are writers. Facilitators are trained in Seven Bridge Writers’ guidelines and expectations, as well as how to follow the Amherst Method of providing feedback, either fully or with augmentation.
We are facilitators rather than teachers because our job is primarily helping writers work together. While we do teach and impart skills, facilitation is more of a collaborative role. While filling the critical function of fostering success of the group, the facilitator is almost always part of the group,
Seven Bridge Critique Groups are designed for intermediate and advanced writers and writing. Any writer who would like deeper critique and feedback of their work is welcome to register with one of our groups. While most works are long-format, some are not. As long as your piece is in the process of being honed for publication, you are welcome.
This is a huge opportunity for each writer, earned by their own participation in the Critique Group during the cycle or cycles with fellow writers.A typical writing cycle for a Critique Group writer is:
1. beginning with a new piece to workshop,
2. Sending 15-20 pages of writing to the group every two to three weeks, including:
a. excerpts from the longer piece.
b. supporting writing like character studies and writing assignments.
3. Reading the writing sent from fellow group writers.
4. Providing expected feedback for each writer.
5. Meeting once a month to share and receive feedback,
6. Returning to edit the draft with critique feedback.
7. Continuing to progress toward a finished work.
8. Culminating in a Group Reading, which is:
a. A month planned ahead that is dedicated solely to reading a writer’s finished piece from beginning to end.
b. Fellow-writers in the group begin by purposefully discussing expectations for criticism and feedback,
c. Fellow-writers read the work, then provide the feedback in a full two-hour group session.
d. Written comments are often also given.