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Critique Group rejection — Just as bad as an MS rejection?

Currently, I am a part of an online critique group that I love. I love the interactions, support, and guidance that we all share with each other. I love the convenience of it. But you know what I don’t like about it? We can never meet face to face and have the personal time that comes with a local critique group.

I thought joining a local critique group would be a wonderful addition to the online critique group. It would have added another point of view. And to have someone already published be a part of that critique group may have been a bonus as well.

Yesterday, I had an opportunity to join a local Picture Book Critique group hosted by Children’s Author–Jennifer Swanson. I received their prospective member questionnaire and began filling it out. Everything seemed to be going ok, until I saw one of the last questions:

“Can you commit to 2 Thursdays per month from 10am- 12pm attending the meetings at the Southeast Library while critiquing the submissions in advance? Can you have something ready to submit at least once a month?”

I work full time and this was definitely not a good fit, time wise. I was hoping everything else would work out and filled it out anyway, along with a note: “

“Unfortunately, the times you list for meeting are not a good fit for me. But I hope that there is a possibility for an alternative time frame. Thank you for your time and consideration.”

The response I got was that the times were “firm” and “Best of luck with your writing”. Those words struck home. They felt like I had just received another rejection for one of my manuscripts. They felt just like any other rejection I’ve ever felt. But, rejection is a part of an author’s life, right? And you have to be a good fit for the critique group just as they have to be a good fit for you.

I will always be a part of my online critique group…which I LOVE! They are a good fit for me! 😀


  1. Ping from Angela Scott:

    I agree with Rachel, I don't think it was personal. I know with my own critique group we meet weekly, during the day at a local McD's so our little ones can play while we chat. So for many, it doesn't work for them. Keep looking around and you'll find the perfect fit for you. Online groups are wonderful too. I;m glad you have them. They sound super supportive. Keep writing. Excited to be a follower and see what great things you will accomplish. Angela

  2. Ping from Rachael Harrie:

    Hey LadyJai, welcome back to the Crusade. Aw hugs, I know that must have hurt, even though I'm sure it wasn't personal. Online critique groups are such a godsend, aren't they!Rach

  3. Ping from J.L. Campbell:

    I found you through the Crusade. I understand that rejection based on their rules and the commitment time needed. I was once rejected by an online critique group because they thought my writing had potential, but wasn't strong enough. That rejection stung, but I made it work for me.

  4. Ping from LadyJai:

    I Love you guys too! 😀

  5. Ping from Megan K. Bickel:

    Sorry that didn't work out for you! Rejections are hard no matter what form they take. But we love you!!

  6. Ping from kangaroobee:

    Oh LadyJai you don't need them, we are the most flexible crit group in the world and though we'd love to eat crisps and chocolate and share a cup of tea with you too we just can't. I used to go all over New Zealand with the Romance writers of NZ sharing rude jokes, looking at beautiful scenery along the way and eating each other's delicious food once we got there. It was awesome, but all we did was a writing exercise or two and one person would do a talk about something. Although it was great we learn so much more at the touch of a button on here and we share much more writing than we ever could in person. Whatever you want critiquing you just put it on the board or email it. If you ever don't like my critiques, tell me I'm fat or something 😛

  7. Ping from LadyJai:

    you are so right, Carole Ann. We always take things personally. It's a part of being human. But as I typed out this blog post, I quickly realized that it wasn't personal at all…it was just about "being a good fit" 🙂

  8. Ping from Carole Anne Carr:

    Of course they are, you can meet up with them any time. You work full time, the local group doesn't, there was no nastiness in their rejection, just a case of necessity to meet the needs of the existing members. We all do this, take things too personally, don't we.

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