Pub Rants

Critique Me In St. Louis?

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STATUS: This has been a crazy day. I really needed to finish an edit for a client but it’s already 4 in the afternoon and I haven’t touched it. Guess I’ll be up late tonight.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? SHOOT THE MOON by Norah Jones

Okay, I’m embarrassed to admit that my Mom & Dad read my blog (and boy did I get in trouble when I didn’t call to tell them about Chutney’s trip to the emergency room.) I got a cold blast when my Mom called to tell me she had read about it ON MY BLOG. Sniff.

Won’t make that mistake again!

But she did send me a tidbit to share with writers because she noticed that commenters often asked about how they can find people to critique their work.

So, if you happen to live in St. Louis, Missouri and are looking for a critique group, this post is for you (and you can give a warm thank you to my mother and the article she found).

You might start with the St. Louis Writers Guild. This association has many different affiliate chapters such as the Chesterfield Writers Guild (which is a township within St. Louis). According to my Mom (and the article she was reading), they each have a mission of providing for and promoting a community of writers of all genres and levels of experience within the area. They offer workshops, peer reviews, groups, speakers etc.

If St. Louis has this, I bet other communities to do. Just do a Google search for [YOUR CITY NAME] Writers Guild and see what pops up. Get connected.

Writing is solitary business but it doesn’t have to be.

16 Responses

  1. Joelle said:

    The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators also offers a critique group matching up service. It’s worth joining for the newsletter, but they offer all kinds of other things too.

  2. Patrick McNamara said:

    I also recommend It’s free to anyone, though those who wish to pay a fee can get a few extra services. The critiques aren’t always the most professional but can at least help point out weaknesses in a story.

  3. Anonymous said:

    Network, people. Six degrees of separation. We all know Kevin Bacon – indirectly, at least.

    Case in point: I am extremely lucky. Blessed, even. I networked into places where I would NOT normally expect support on writing. Now, a best selling author has offered to critique the first three chapters of my book. Can you believe it? I hardly can myself.

    This is a rare occurrence, to be sure, but it CAN happen. Start using those six degrees of separation and ask around. Ask people you wouldn’t normally ask. They may know Kevin Bacon.

  4. Amie Stuart said:

    The dallas/ft worth area has one and so does Austin I beleive. Also there’s a thread on for finding a CP. I met two of my CP’s on eharl but not through that thread.

  5. Infinity said:

    Here in Minneapolis there’s an organization called the Loft Literary Group ( They are great for critiques and other facets of writing as well.

  6. jason evans said:

    Having family other than your spouse read your blog is a little surreal. Especially parents. So often, their views of us are permanently skewed by raising us. If anything, they should relish the opportunity to see how we truly present ourselves to the world.

  7. Anonymous said:

    I was astonished to find there is a writer’s guild in my area. Many thanks!!

  8. Anonymous said:

    I’ve visited with the Writer’s Guild in my area and they seemed much more focused on self-publishing. In fact, I don’t think they had one single author that wasn’t either self-published or with a very small press. Shame, too. Nice people. But for those who want a career in mass market, there isn’t much to offer.

  9. Kanani said:

    Yes, I can see why your Mom would be quite annoyed! (Hi Kristen’s Mom!) *waves*

    I favor in person writers groups, rather than online. It’s not possible in all geographic areas, but it’s nice to be able to establish a basis of understanding in person, and sometimes it just helps to have your pages all marked up. Plus it really helps you personally learn how to give effective feedback when you have to do it eye to eye.

    Every group has its own way of working. Plus, there are the inevitable blow hards and also those who are just too meek to speak. Sometimes it takes awhile to find the right group –I like Steve Berry’s description. For 3 years he went every Tuesday night to a writer’s workshop. Then for 4 years he went every Wednesday to another one, which consisted of him and 2 ladies.

    That’s pretty much what you need. Consistency, communication and trust.

  10. Wilfred the Author said:


    I appreciate the recognition of the St. Louis Writers Guild. I am an active member and yes, we have what we call Cycle Critique Groups that are genre based. The groups meet for a 10 to 12 week period and each member sets goals to be achieved in each cycle.

    The St. Louis Writers Guild is one of the oldest writers groups in the United States forming in 1920. I am including the web address for the St. Louis Writers Guild Critique program.

  11. LindaBudz said:

    Don’t be embarrassed … I’m pretty sure my Mom is my blog’s biggest fan. Maybe its only true fan.

    P.S. Networking and connections helped me find my agent. Put yourself out there!

  12. Anonymous said:

    Just wanted to correct a misconception. For the past–almost 4 years since I joined, St. Louis Writers Guild has been anything BUT focused on self-publishing. It currently has more than 300 members, including some local literary greats–Ridley Pearson, John Lutz, Suzanne Ledbetter, Bobbi Smith, Eleanor Sullivan, the list goes on… No programming is focused on how to publish a book. The Guild prefers to refer self-publishing writers to the St. Louis Publishers Association, an organization that provides comprehensive resources for persons interested in publishing books. I have been encouraged NOT to self-publish my particular manuscript. The organization is focused on excellence in writing and urges writers to seek paying publishers for their hard work.