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Blog: This Writing Life


  • Writer's pictureMelissa Stoller

It’s All About . . . The Benefits of Writing Groups

Updated: Jan 6, 2021

This post was originally published on the Children's Book Academy blog.

​I work with many writing groups that perform varied functions. I’m part of several outstanding critique groups and I value my critique partners tremendously. I’m also a member of a few marketing groups that offer invaluable assistance surrounding a book’s debut year promotion and beyond. This weekend, at the SCBWI Annual Winter Conference in New York City, I met in person for the first time many of my critique partners and marketing group pals. I had met other writing friends previously at book events, and some I haven’t connected with live yet. I look forward to continuing the strong relationships I have created with my writing groups - I know they will continue to be sources of support and encouragement during our book writing journeys! Here’s some insight into my writing groups:

Some members of the #BOOKBLASTERS marketing group at the SCBWI NY Conference

CRITIQUE GROUPS: Critique partners fulfill many important roles. They are the other talented writers who can help you make your stories shine. CPs provide excellent feedback on manuscripts.They offer constructive comments on what’s working, and they provide suggestions about the challenges that need further exploration and revising. And critique partners can help with brainstorming ideas and discussing the marketability of a story. Excellent critique partners can cheer each other on, offer inspiration, and help set and achieve writing goals. Above all, who else will read your draft and make helpful comments multiple times besides your trusted critique partners?

Some member of the #EPIC18 marketing group at lunch during the SCBWI NY Conference

MARKETING GROUPS: I enjoy being part of several vibrant marketing groups that provide support as we navigate through our publishing journeys. These groups offer guidance related to marketing and promotion, book launches, school visits, and so much more. #Epic18 is a group of incredible debut picture book authors and illustrators who banded together for support during 2018, our debut year. I’m also working with #BookMeshuggenahs, a wonderful group of Jewish women authors publishing Jewish-themed children’s books; #BookBlasters, an amazing new group of children’s book authors connected to The Children’s Book Academy and Clear Fork Publishing; and #SeenIn19, a talented group of non-debut authors with picture books releasing in 2019. I’m so happy to be part of these groups as we travel similar publishing paths. I look forward to being a cheerleader for all my marketing group friends as our new books burst into the world! Stay tuned next month for part two of this post, examining how to organize, conduct, and maintain a thriving critique group. In the meantime, happy creating!


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