Thursday, June 11, 2009

So happy

Candi wanted to apologize for missing her post yesterday. She's in the midst of moving and they turned off her internet sooner than she expected.

Now, in the theme of creepy owls, I thought I'd use this "happy" (although seriously disturbing) owl to announce my news. (BTW, Jenn, I found this owl while searching for the 'Ya RLY' owl, you're right, scary. And may I recommend the 'Fro RLY' Owl, who was second runner up for this post.)

Some of you may know because you visit my site, some of you may not. So for those of you who don't know--I have an agent!! For those of you who do know, I'm sorry for the repeat, it's pretty much the only thing on my mind right now.

Did you know that agents attain about 95% of their clients through referrals? So, odds are, if you surround yourself with writers, you are more likely to get an agent.

I'm sure most of you know this, but for any new writers that come across this site, this is information I would've loved to know when I was starting out. As part of growing and developing as a writer, you should be involved in some sort of critique group. For novels, I recommend a group where you exchange complete manuscripts with a few other writers. I'm involved in two groups, one where we exchange a few chapters at a time, and then one (with a few of my online friends) where we exchange whole manuscripts. The whole manuscript one has been much more helpful because the reader can see your book as a whole and get the entire picture. When I critique and get critiqued I learn so much. Sometimes I learn more from critiquing than I do from being critiqued. So network, find those other writers who are writing for the same market or same genre as you and then help each other find success.

I have heard many success stories that involve queries, but my success story involves a referral. Jenni James, who I started exchanging manuscripts with back in December, read my book, loved it, and then referred me to her agent. Did I become friends with Jenni in hopes of her recommending my work to her agent? We may joke about it sometimes, but the answer is: No, of course not. I genuinely connected with Jenni, we got along well, we had similar goals, and we helped each other. Do I feel extremely lucky that she loved one of my manuscripts enough to recommend it? Yes!

So my question to you is, how did you find your critique group? What has worked/hasn't worked in that group? What advice would you give to those just starting on the process? Or, if you are just starting in the process, what questions do you have that we might be able to address in future posts?


  1. Yes! This is my question!! How DID you find a critique group? And how can I tell if it will be one that's helpful for me? I'm in the market for one (or two)...

  2. I've been critiqued through the SCWBI group in my area, and if I lived closer to where they critique I would utilize them more. My library has a critique group, but they focus more on nonfiction.

  3. I am a member of critique circle, an online critique group, but the only other person who reads my manuscripts is my sister. She tells me what she likes/dislikes, but isn't really a writer. How do you get a good critique group? I am in the market for one as well! I don't know any other writer's personally, and have just recently met a few online ones. Any advice would be awesome!

  4. First off Congrats Kasie! I know how hard you worked on rewriting your MS for Kirsten and I know the type of dedication that went into getting you where you are! LOL! It wasn't all me, I was just there to pass the book on.

    And secondly... erm, Wow! It looks like some of our readers just might be able to form connections and their own critique groups from right here! This is awesome!
    Great Post Kasie! Jenni

  5. The only way to describe how much critiques has helped me is to show someone my first and then my latest version of my MS. Most people just laugh... others say WOW. LOL So yeah, critiques help. I've been lucky enough to meet some people who are great at setting, background, others characters and others are line-edit goddesses. :D

    Contact other writers, both online and in your area, attend conferences and workshops. Just put yourself out there and let people know you're looking for a good critique group. That's the best way to find one in my opinion.

    By the way Kasie... I'm also a fan of the Fro RLY Owl. It was a runner up for my owl yesterday too! LOL Always the bridesmaid, never the bride. ;)

  6. We could definately form an online mormon mommy writers group through yahoo if anyone was interested. I really do like alot of my online groups but they are kind of big groups, it might be nice to start a smaller group that offers critiques as well. Also, ANWA is an LDS writer's group that offers online critiquing services too, but you have to pay a yearly fee of $20. Which really isn't that bad. Another online group I use is they have a yahoo group that sends emails (use the digest version if you sign up). There are alot of virtual options out there. Or you can always start your own. Just be resourceful and don't give up.

  7. I would be VERY interested in an online MMW group! That would be awesome!;) Any other takers?

  8. I found my chapter by chapter critique group online by entering my city and then 'writers groups' into google. It directed me to a writer's group in my area and I've been meeting every other week with this group for a year. It's been a slow process with this group and like I said, probably not the most helpful way to critique. That being said, I have formed some great friendships with the members of that group because we actually get to see each other face to face and get to know each other.

    The way I found my online writer's group is by one, starting a writer's blog. As I visit and leave comments on people's sites and they left them on mine we formed relationships. This was how my online group was formed.

    But I think it's a great idea to have an MMW critique group, where some of you who might not already have a group can get together. It's nice to have a few different readers because, like Jenn said, you'll notice that some readers will be strong in one area, some in another. Awesome.

  9. I was in a choir and during a break, I got talking to someone else, who said she writes fiction, too. And then she introduced me to her other writer friends.

    I call that my networking group. We go to conferences together.

    My other group, I was talking to during a church social, and we decided to meet monthly for critiquing, which is a good amount of deadline for me.

    I love both groups.

  10. Count me in for the online MMW group... I'm kind of clueless, though... how does it work? Would we email our whole work to each other? And how would we get the editing suggestions?

    BTW, Kasie, I second that Congratulations! How exciting!!!



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