Giving and receiving writing critiques is an art. I’ve experienced great, good, and awful critiques from writing mentors over the years. I’ve belonged to writing critique groups off and on for over twenty years, graduated from an MFA program, been blessed to have a blogging partner, and attended writing conferences where I’ve had the opportunity to receive feedback from bestselling authors and agents.
Probably the best feedback I received (and by best I mean most useful for my growth as a writer) came from a mentor in my MFA program. Also a successful author, she had a real-life grasp of what it takes to get published and was a consummate artisan as well. What made her critiques so effective were not only the content but the style in which they were delivered. She was blunt and unmercifully honest, but never mean. She always found something positive in my writing—even if it was only a little thing, she would point it out so I would do more of these good things in the future. Read more