Tuesday, August 24, 2010

not a book review: The Writing & Critique Group Survival Guide


"Urban Petroglyph" by Dot Hearn. From the Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt collection.

Yesterday I received a book in the mail from a friend. She ended up with an extra copy and wanted to share her spare - which I greatly appreciate. She and I have never met in person; we met through an online writing workshop a couple years ago - Ariel Gore's Lit Star Training for Wayward Writers. We also discovered that we are in the same pay-the-bills profession. Then later, that we both work part-time for the same company, in addition to the post-secondary and freelance work we do. Our small world grew smaller - although we still live nearly 2000 miles apart.

The book she sent me is, "The Writing & Critique Group Survival Guide" by Becky Levine. I have a stack of writing books - truly a stack - ranging from the traditional and new style & grammar guides, several perspectives on writing memoir (including Judith Barrington & Natalie Goldberg), general writing advice (Ariel Gore, Peter Brooks, 826, Sage Cohen), publishing (Bonnie Hearn HIll, Gotham Writers), and so on. Some partially read, some completely unread as of yet, a few completed. I thought I'd take a quick glance through the book and then add it to the 'nuts and bolts' section of my pile. (See, my bookshelves are all full. Yes, all of them - there are bookshelves in every room of the house except the bathrooms - and they are all full.)

I had an appointment this morning, after which I planned a treat of Morroccan Oatmeal and a latte afterwards at a nearby restaurant. So I took the new book with me for glancing. Much to my delight and surprise, I'm a couple chapters into the book. And I did not put it on my pile when I returned home to change and get ready for work; I put it in my take-to-work bag. I am already mulling over information from the beginning of the book and it is building on an idea I had last week about setting up a manuscript/book-length project group (which may start with 2 or 3 people).

It looks like my latest addition will be one of the "done" books before too long. I haven't read enough to give a review - but in my fast-paced life, I think it is a good testament that it's my carry-with-me book and that the author hooked me in right away.

Thank you, Christi, for sending me the book. Thank you, Becky, for writing the book!


  1. Thanks so much for posting this! :) I hope the book gives you all the info you need to get started.

  2. The intro question section gave me a lot to think about and helped me identify what I want from my project/mss group.

    I'm really looking forward to reading more and can't wait to get to the self-editing section!

    I'm enjoying both content and style! Thanks.for stopping by and leaving a comment.