Thursday, February 8, 2018


With this entry, we welcome our new associate agent Michelle S. Lazurek. She will bring a fresh perspective, with an occasional contribution to this blog.

When I began my writing career in 2009, I felt like a fish swimming upstream in a lake of mature writers. They were all so much farther along in their careers than me. I thought I’d never catch up! But then something happened that placed me on the trajectory for success: I joined a writers’ group. I’ve been in groups where every attendee was a novice, and other groups where multi-published authors intermingled with newbie writers. In every experience, I have grown and stretched as a result. Here are three reasons why a writers’ critique group is so important to your success as a writer:
  • Get feedback from readers. Proverbs 27:17 tells us, “as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” It is important to have other people, whether brand new or seasoned, give you honest feedback about your work. Regardless of what experience other members have in writing, they are all approaching your work as a reader. Therefore, they can offer feedback as one. You may think your meaning is clear, but if it isn’t coming across to a reader, it will leave your reader confused and you frustrated. 
  • Critique group members are for you, not against you. As with any small group, the more time you spend with group members, the quicker you go from mere acquaintance to trusted friend. When you seek honest feedback, they will be more willing to tell you their honest opinion simply because they not only care about your project, but about you. They want to see you succeed, because if you succeed, they succeed. 
  • You can’t assess your own work effectively. You are too close to your work to analyze whether it is good enough to put out to the world. You’ve spent countless hours, writing and revising your work. Your project is now like a newborn baby; it’s your job to care for it and nurture it until it’s sufficient for publication. It’s hard for you to catch every error and resolve every issue. I don’t just mean free of typos, but does it flow well? Does the content support the main ideas presented? If it’s fiction, are the characters developed well and help move the plot along? You need champions who will praise you when your work is great, and friends who are not unwilling to offer constructive criticism. 
I have stretched and grown with every writers’ group in which I have been a participant. The lessons and skills I gained at those groups I wouldn’t trade for anything. If you are having trouble finding some members to create a group, grab a copy of the Writers’ Digest Writers’ Market Guide (or the Christian Writers’ Market Guide if your work is spiritual in nature.) The little money and time you invest in yourself and others through a group will pay dividends in the success in achieving your writing and publishing career. 


  1. I was terrified my desire to write for children would never be realized because I simply couldn't find the confidence to try. I joined a writer's group (there are only three of us) and the encouragement they gave me to at least try boosted my confidence. One writer in our little group just got an agent for her historical romance and that was a real boost for the rest of us.

  2. Before sending my latest project to a professional editor, I asked several peers to do a read through and tell me where my writing contradicts, bogs down, or seems unbelievable. Best thing I did since sitting down in front a computer.

  3. This is a great inspiring article.I am pretty much pleased with your good work.You put really very helpful information.
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