Friday, January 22, 2016

Listening To Your Work

The lessons you are meant to learn are in your work. To see them, you need only look at the work clearly - without judgment, without need or fear, without wishes or hopes, without emotional expectations. Ask your work what it needs, not what you need. Then set aside your fears and listen, the way a good parent listens to a child.

               David Bayles and Ted Orland, Art and Fear

For many of us at SBWC, critique groups are essential to improving as writers. Critique groups serve writers in the revision process, offering a safe and supportive environment in which to share and evaluate manuscripts at all stages of development. This kind of feedback, instead of being negative or positive, strives to be helpful, offering specific, thoughtful comments based on close reading. Critiquing is not about the writer, the process, or the choice of subject matter, it’s about the work on the page. It’s the best kind of collaboration, encouraging writers in the development of their craft.

SBWC invites writers to contact us if they are interested in critique.  An ideal group has four to six dedicated members, working in the same genre, at similar levels. SBWC can facilitate beginning groups, or act as a clearinghouse, connecting experienced writers looking for a new workshopping community.

New groups form throughout the year. To find out more, please visit our Critique Groups page at And if you have further questions, or would like to join or start a critique group, please contact us at

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