One of the most important subjects for a writer, and I have said this many times, is having a critique group.
I thought it would be really funny, interesting and informative to ask my critique group about well, critique groups.
The first interview will be with Saba Negash, she is new to my group. She is lovely and talented. I hope you enjoy getting to know her and her thoughts on critique groups.
1) What are three things you are PASSIONATE about?
Tea, Traveling and Photography
2) What is your writing process?
For fiction I begin with an outline of my story. Then I flesh out the story. Then I revise it a few times before sending it to my critique group.
For non-fiction I begin with research. Then I follow the same steps as above.
3) How often do you write?
I try to write every day for about an hour but lately it seems that the weekends have been more convenient and I write for five hours on Saturday and Sunday.
4) What do you write?
I mostly write picture books for my own writing. I have a couple of work in progresses that are geared for older audiences. I am a book reviewer for the Perfect Picture Book Friday series on Susanna Hill’s blog as well as a book reviewer for Multicultural Children’s Book Day. I include these reviews on my blog, Goodreads, Amazon and my website.
5) What are your goals as a writer?
My goal as a writer is to share stories of unsung heroes with children and families. To share stories that entertain and engage. I hope to do this by continuing to learn the craft and polish up the stories I have and begin my search for an agent.
6) How does the critique group help achieve them?
I am grateful for my critique groups. They help pinpoint things in my writing that I don’t see and/or have not learned yet. Their feedback have been very helpful some of my recent stories.
7) How do you connect with other book/stories?
I connect with stories that take me on journeys around the world, on adventures, leaves me knowing something I did not know before and thoroughly entertained.
8) Do you read a lot? What do you read?
Yes. Reading is part of a writer’s job. I use mentor texts to help me understand what publishers are looking for in both fiction and non-fiction picture books and how published writers create books that win the hearts of the reader. For my personal reading, I love to read cozy mysteries, adventure and detective stories. Clive Cussler and Lee Goldberg of the Monk series are two of my favorite authors in the genres.
9) Where do you go to read?
So long as I have a cup of tea beside me and quiet, I will curl up with a book anywhere.
10) How long have you been in a critique group?
I joined my first critique group online four years ago. I did not stay long with the group. Soon after, I joined another group online through WOW. A year later, I joined an in-person writing group.
11) How did joining one change your writing and or writing practices?
Joining a critique group has helped me grow as a writer. I am the only writer in my family so having a writing community is very helpful. It has made me become more accountable with my writing and goals. It has also taught me how to help other writers by providing constructive critiques.
12) How did you find yours?
I found my online groups through SCBWI and WOW.
13) What is the best thing about being in a critique group(s)?
Being a part of a community of people who understand and share your passion for writing.
14) What aspect of it works best for you? What is the hardest part?
The hardest part is putting your work out there to be judged, but, when you are in a good group, you learn so much more than you would on your own.
15) What would you like other writers to know about writing? About critique groups? About the process of ‘trying to get published’?
Whether writing is a career or hobby, it is a hard industry to break into. It requires patience, dedication, and a thick skin. Not everyone is going to like your work but if you got a writing community in your corner, then you are on your way to becoming a published writer. Keep writing. Keep revising. Keep learning. And keep growing.
If you are interested in learning more about Saba, please check out these links-