(Or, Critique Partner Want Ads)
Every writer needs a critique partner (CP) at some point in their lives, and maybe at this point in your life, it's you. Maybe you can't get to the next fantastic writer's conference and network. Maybe you have some excellent CPs, but you have room for one more.
In the hope of making that search a tad easier for Not An Editor followers, this page is for writers in active CP recruitment mode. Writers are able to post their "want ad" in the comments section and to contact anyone with active want ads.
Suggested Want Ad Contents
Information that might be helpful to post in a CP want ad includes:
1. Your target audience (e.g., middle grade, young adult, adult, etc.)
2. Your genre (e.g., contemporary, thriller, mystery, horror, literary, commercial, etc.), though keep in mind that it's okay to critique other genres.
3. Word count
4. A 100-200 word pitch (summary of your story)
5. Timeline: Are you ready for critique exchange now? When do you need to wrap things up?
6. Your name and e-mail address (e.g., mkaley3 at gmail dot com)
7. Anything else you think is important for potential CPs to know, such as your strengths or weaknesses as a writer/critiquer
NOTE: Before you post your want ad, you must agree to the following. No exceptions.
1. I shall be ready and open to accept and consider honest and well-thought-out feedback on my work.
2. My work shall be as perfect as possible prior to sending it to another for critique.
3. My work shall be as perfect as possible prior to sending it to another for critique. (Yes, I know. This is repeated for emphasis.)
4. Before I critique anyone's work, I shall read the tips provided in these posts. And perhaps all the posts in Not An Editor, especially those provided in critiquerly interviews.
5. I shall adopt the mission of helping my potential critique partner to realize their potential.
6. I shall commit to the time it takes to provide honed and well-though-out feedback.
7. I shall re-read my critique prior to sending it back to make sure all my comments cannot be construed as having little substance, harsh, mean, or otherwise snarky.
What the Initial Exchange Might Look Like
It may be tempting to think you've found "the one" through the want ads, but take it slow. Instead of sending your entire 80,000-word WiP, consider sending each other something shorter like a query letter or first chapter. You're on the first critiquerly date at this point, and really? There's no commitment until you find each other helpful, thoughtful, and worthy of holding your WiP (AKA: your child--no, your favorite child) in the palm of their hands.
Also? Make sure you spend time and think about the critique you do at this stage before sending it back to your potential CP. Consider it a job interview for your dream job, dream organization, and it's all up to you to reach out and show them what you've got.
Once you are comfortable with one another, make sure to set goals and be clear about your timelines. When are you thinking of querying? Do you have other projects on the horizon? What are your goals (e.g., self-pub, agent acquisition, etc.)?
This page is provided for the benefit of writers, and Not an Editor will not intervene in any way. Look through the listings and see if anything catches your eye. Contact that writer, and commit to timelines. The worst that can happen is you won't mesh and you'll need to contact someone else. But the best? Well, it's way worth it.
Feel free to remove your want ad by deleting your comment once you've found your dream critique partner(s), and feel free to post your success story of critiquerly bliss here as well.