author, creative writing, writing

How to Find a Critique Partner

Critique partners are valuable to any writer. I’ve spoken a lot before about reasons to seek feedback and reasons to have a critique partner. But I’ve never really spoken about how to find somebody in the first place. So here’s so advice:

Connect with other writers
This is the first step. A critique partner is somebody you share work with, and exchange feedback. So connecting with other writers is really the only way you’re going to do this. But how do you connect with writers? Do some research and find out if there are any writing groups or creative writing workshops in your area. You’ll meet people with the same passion, and who may be at a similar stage of their writing journey. Alternatively, join the online writing community. Through blogs like this, or on social media, you’ll find thousands of writers, all looking for support and giving it out in return.
novel writing

Interact and take interest
It’s one thing to follow a load of writers on social media platforms, but to find a critique partner you’re going to need to get to know some people. So interact. If they post something that interests you, or you find amusing, let them know. Start a conversation, take interest in the things they do and the words they’ve written. It’s the best way to find out who you click with on a personal level, and you feel you can trust with your words and stories.
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Ask questions
As well as finding out who you get on with, it can be helpful to find people with an interest in your genre. It could be that they write in the same genre as you, or simply that they enjoy that genre as reading material. This ensures that you’ll get helpful feedback, but also ensures that your critique partner will not find your story difficult to connect with. So ask around, find out what they’re writing, what they enjoy, what they’ve written before. It’s all important, and also sparks insightful and meaningful conversations.
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Be genuine
When getting to know another writer, be genuine. Don’t fake an interest in order to get somebody on your side. Trusting somebody with your work, and being trusted in return, requires honesty and mutual respect. Likewise, be genuine in your feedback. Point out mistakes, plot holes or areas that need strengthening. Be honest about the parts you loved, your emotions while reading and give feedback that is insightful, truthful and helpful. That’s what you’d want in return, and so it’s what you should offer.
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Have patience
Are any writers simply just writers? Everyone you connect with will, like yourself, have other interests and commitments. They might be parents, students, have jobs, run a household, spend time in other hobbies. Essentially, be patient. Everybody works at their own pace. When waiting for feedback, don’t put your critique partner under pressure. It’s okay to have a deadline if it’s necessary, but make it realistic and be understanding if it’s not possible for the other person. If you’re lucky, and meet writers you really get on with, they could be your critique partners for…well…life! So be kind, don’t be demanding, and be patient if they need a break or delay.
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Big shout out to all critique partners, with huge love to K.M. Allan and Lorraine Ambers who consistently support me. I got lucky to find these, and hope this blog post helps other writers find people just as wonderful.

Tell me about your critique partner(s)!

And until then,
Keep writing,

Want to connect? Find me on Twitter and Instagram.
(I am also on Facebook, but rubbish and keeping up with it)

23 thoughts on “How to Find a Critique Partner”

  1. My biggest challenge with finding a critique partner would have to be my inexperience in giving feedback. I know what I like and don’t like but does that really help another writer? The technical side of writing is something I’m relatively new to and feel that I can’t actually help my fellow writers with their stories.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi, thank you for your comment. I think sometimes, writers are looking for honest feedback more than technical. And if they have other readers too, they may provide that side of things. Spotting typos, and highlighting what you like and don’t like can be just as helpful. Just be honest about what type of feedback you’re able to give, and you’ll still find a writer who wants to swap stories. Good luck with it all!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is something I have been thinking about, so thanks for your advice. I am in a few online writing groups, and I am considering going to workshop next month, so will give this some more thought. I would be interested to hear other people’s experience of their critique partners and how they found them. Also I have connected with you on Instagram and Twitter.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. good advice. i will forever be grateful to my weekly writing critique group. i don’t have a critique partner though. writing is so subjective. it’s good to have a range of opinions. thanks for the post.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great post, Meelie. I’m so happy we found each other too. You’ve talked me down from many self-doubt ledges and given me invaluable feedback when it comes to my own writing. I’m honoured that I get to do the same for you. Making connections with other writers really is one of the best parts of the writing journey, and you’ve outlined how to do it perfectly here.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Another great post. I think that you’re right that one of the hardest things to find in a CP is honesty and someone who ‘gets’ you on a deeper level. I’d love to be part of a CP group in my local area, but there isn’t much going on here so I mostly use social media/email/skype to interact with other writers.

    Good job and thanks for writing. Your posts are always super helpful. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  6. My group has six people in it, and I like that because it provides different perspectives. Sometimes only one or two people will catch something important. I am the least experienced writer in my group, but working with others in most pursuits makes us better in the long run. One advantage we have is all of us are retired, which makes getting together regularly so much easier.

    Liked by 2 people

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