Midsouth Region (TN/KY)

SCBWI Midsouth Critique Groups 


What is a Critique Group?

A critique group is a team of writers or illustrators who provide constructive criticism of each other’s work in progress. Often a group focuses on a particular reading level, art media, or genre, but not always. Some groups meet online, others face-to-face. Some meet weekly, others monthly. The details are up to the group.

Choosing a Critique Group

Critique groups take commitment - every member has to provide new material and critiques according to the group’s schedule and rules. With that in mind, start by reading all group information in the Midsouth Critique Groups section below. If a group is open to new members and is appropriate to your work and schedule, e-mail the group leader. This is your chance to audition the group, and their chance to audition you. Once you join a group, commit yourself. 

Midsouth Critique Groups

Group leaders, please email your group information to the Critique Group Coordinator. Full groups are listed as a courtesy. Contact open groups only.


Writers (face-to-face)

City

State

Group Name

Status (full/open)

Genre

Where

When/How Often

Contact

Bowling Green  KY none Full PB, MG, YA Barnes and Noble Once a month Pat Nesbitt
Bowling Green  KY  none     OPEN         PB  Determined at each meeting  Once a month  Pat Nesbitt
Lexington  KY Central KY Children's Writers Full fiction, NF, PB, chapbook, MG, YA, magazine

Beaumont branch of the Lexington Public Library, 1-3 PM

First and third Saturdays Harry LeVine
Louisville  KY  none Full     MG, YA  Fern Creek   Second and fourth Wednesdays  Kurt Hampe

Louisville

 KY

Third Sunday Writers

Full

     PB

Barnes and Noble, 801 S. Hurstbourne Pkwy

Third Sunday

Cheryl Keely

Louisville  KY  none     OPEN  MG, YA Summit B&N First & last Fridays Allison Russell
Dyersburg  TN Happy Writer's Critique Group Full  all writing Java Café

Twice monthly

 

 

Eva Rogers

Maryville  TN  none    OPEN   all writing  Blount County Library  Flexible Emily Marek
Maryville   TN none  Full  all children's writing  Blount County Library Once a month - flexible schedule Rhonda Rucker
Nashville    TN   Author's Nest   Full  PB, MG,        YA           TBD Monthly Christine Cowan
Nashville  TN  none Full   all writing   

Twice monthly

Shellie Braeuner

Nashville  TN  Writers Who Write ... Right? Full  PB, MG,         YA 

Starbucks, 5008 Old Hickory Blvd. Hermitage TN

Every Other Monday  David Arnold
Nashville   TN Midsouth Marauders Full  PB, MG,         YA

Nashville/Brentwood

 1st Tuesday of the month

Vicky Morris

Writers (online)

Group Name

Status (full/open)

Genre

Where
(web site/e-mail)

When/How often

Contact

Blue Crayons

Full

YA, MG, PB

email

Once a month

Vicky Livesay

Heartland PB Full PB email  Once a month  Chuck Suddeth

LL&N Critique Group

Full

   YA, MG

email

Once a month

Chuck Suddeth

Original Seven  Full YA, MG email

Ongoing

Grace Howell

 Illustrators (face-to-face)

City

State

Group Name

Status (full/open)

Media

Genre

Where

When/How Often

Contact

                 
                 
                 

Illustrators (online)

Group Name

Status (full/open)

Media

Genre

Where
(web site/e-mail)

When/How Often

Contact

PB Critique Group Open variable PB Private Blog Every two weeks Alison Lyne
             
             


Still looking for a group?

Don’t see a group that’s right for you?  Nothing in your area?  You’re not alone.  Here’s a list of other Midsouth members looking for a critique group:

Kentucky

Bardstown 

Name: Gail Kamer, author (can travel to Nelson, Marion, Larue, Hardin County)

Email: gaildear@bardstowncable.net

Genre: PB

Prefers: Face-to-Face/Online

Can Lead: Yes

Can Host: Yes


Lexington

Name: Mari Adkins, writer
Email: mari@mariadkins.com
Genre: YA Paranormal / Urban Fantasy
Prefers: Face-to-Face/Online
Can Lead: No
Can Host: Yes

 

Name: Deana Barnhart, author
Email: deanabarnhart@gmail.com
Genre: YA Dystopian, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal
Prefers: Face-to-Face
Can Lead: Yes
Can Host: Yes

 

London
Name: Risha Mullins, author
Email:
rishamullins@gmail.com
Genre: YA
Prefers: Face-to-Face/Online
Can Lead: No
Can Host: Yes


Louisville

Name: April Burch, author

Email: aprilwings@hotmail.com

Genre: PB, YA

Prefers: Face-to-Face/Online

Can Lead: Yes

Can Host: No


Name: David Emmitt, author
Email:
davidemmitt5@insightbb.com
Genre: Middle Grade Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Religious, books and articles
Prefers: Face-to-Face
Can Lead: Yes
Can Host: No


Name: Allison Russell, author

Email: allispence@yahoo.com  

Genre: YA

Prefers: Face-to-Face/Online

Can Lead: Yes

Can Host: No

 

Name: Alda Villanueva, author

Email: aldas_red_crayon@yahoo.com

Genre: Middle Grade

Prefers: Face-to-Face

Can Lead: No

Can Host: No

 

Prospect
Name: Laura Johnsrude, author
Email:
laura.johnsrude@insightbb.com
Genre: PB
Prefers: Face-to-Face/Online
Can Lead: No
Can Host: No

Versailles
Name: Elizabeth Burton, author
Email:
steppineasy@yahoo.com
Genre: PB, Chapter Book, Middle Grade
Prefers: Face-to-Face/Online
Can Lead: Yes
Can Host: Yes

Vine Grove
Name: Denise Booth, author
Email:
1d.boothe@insightbb.com
Genre: PB
Prefers: Face-to-Face/Online
Can Lead: No
Can Host: Yes

Williamsburg

Ann Schwarz, author

Email: ajschwarz4@earthlink.net

Genre: PB, MG, YA, and short stories for adults

Prefers: Face-to-Face

Can Lead: No

Can Host: Yes

 

Tennessee

Chattanooga
Name: Paula Petty, author
Email:
paulapetty@aol.com
Genre: PB
Prefers: Face-to-Face
Can Lead: Yes
Can Host: Yes

Clarksville
Name: Meridth Gimbel, author/illustrator
Email:
rothy.squidling@gmail.com
Genre: PB, Chapter Book / Watercolor and mixed media
Prefers: Face-to-Face/Online
Can Lead: Yes
Can Host: Yes

Memphis

Name: Alice Faye Duncan, author
Email:
afduncan@aol.com
Genre: Non-fiction
Prefers: Online
Can Lead: No
Can Host: No

Name: Moriah McStay Lee, author
Email:
moriahlee@me.com
Genre: MG, YA
Prefers: Face-To-Face/Online
Can Lead: No
Can Host: Yes

Name: Aidana WillowRaven, Illustrator
Email:
willowraven.illustration@yahoo.com
Genre: Everything
Prefers: Face-to-Face/Online
Can Lead: Yes
Can Host: Yes

Mt. Juliet

Name: Kathlyn J. Kirkwood, author

Email: kathlyn.j.kirkwood@gmail.com

Genre: fiction PB, non-fiction young-reader/MG

Prefers: Face-To-Face/Online

Can Lead: No

Can Host: Yes


Nashville

Name: Kim Cady, author

Email: kycady@gmail.com
Genre: YA Fantasy
Prefers: Face-To-Face/Online
Can Lead: Yes
Can Host:  No

Name: Allen Wells, author
Email: alwells28@yahoo.com
Genre: PB, MG, YA
Prefers: Face-To-Face/Online
Can Lead:  No
Can Host:  No

Signal Mountain

Name: Lynelle Mason, author
Email: lynellemason@comcast.net
Genre: PB and Historical Fiction MG and YA
Prefers: Face-to-Face/Online
Can Lead: Yes
Can Host: Yes


Trenton, TN

Name: Allison Lassieur, author
Email: ALassieur@gmail.com
Genre: YA, MG fantasy, sci-fi
Prefers: Face-to-Face/Online
Can Lead: Yes
Can Host: Yes


Want to join the list?  Email your information to the Critique Group Coordinator. And if you’re willing to lead a new group, please let us know. Midsouth has several articles about getting started and a list of mentors who can help. 

Can you mentor a new group?

If you have critique group experience and are willing to guide a new group through a couple meetings, please email the Critique Group Coordinator.

Helpful Links

"Critique Groups and Critiquing" -- from an SCBWI newsletter for the Tri-Regions of Southern California.

From Writer’s Digest, a listing for The Writing & Critique Group Survival Guide, including downloadable critique group worksheets:

"Starting Your Own Critique Group" -- by Margot Finke, from Harold Underdown’s site, The Purple Crayon.

From the Institute for Children’s Literature:

"Starting A Critique Group"

"Critiquing In Your Jammies"

"Critique Groups: Your Chance to Grow"

"Creating Successful Critique Groups"

"The Give and Take of Critiques" -- by author Linda Sue Park.

"Join a Critique Group to Get Your Writing Moving" -- by author and writing guide W. Terry Whalin.

The following files are for SCBWI members only. You must be logged in to access them, and they may not be posted elsewhere. You'll need Adobe Reader to view them.

1.  Go to www.scbwi.org

2.  Log in.

3.  On the home page, place your mouse pointer on "Resource Library" (upper right corner). A drop-down list appears.

4.  Select "SCBWI Publication Guide Online." The SCBWI Publication Guide Online page appears.

5.  Select "Getting Started: Preparing and Submitting Your Work."

The "Getting Started" page appears - there’s a lot of good info here, including pages on critique groups and manuscript formatting.


“Joining a critique group was the best thing for me to do as a new writer. It was also the best thing for me to do as an intermediate writer. I think it's the best thing any writer can do to polish their work.” -- Genetta Adair

“Mine has saved me from terrible gaffes…” -- Martha Bennett Stiles

"Critique groups are the best thing that ever happened for my writing..." -- Hannah Dills

“I was happily writing nonfiction when I had an idea for an opening chapter of a novel. I wrote it just as a writing exercise, with no intention of writing the entire book, and read it to my critique group. They loved it and asked what happened next. I had no idea, so I wrote another chapter to find out. This continued until I finished my first novel, Anna of Byzantium, which has gone on to sell almost 200,000 copies. I've now written six more novels, and I know I wouldn't have gone that route if I hadn't read that chapter that day. I love my critique group!” -- Tracy Barrett

“I gain as much from critiquing others' work as I do from having them examine my pieces. Nine times out of ten, whatever I think someone's piece could benefit from - stronger voice, clearer desire - is just what my own piece needs at that very moment. Critique groups are a win-win situation. In addition, knowing that others will be reading my work helps motivate me to polish and meet deadlines. Even if I'm submitting a chapter from an uncompleted manuscript, it's amazing how much harder I'll be on myself when I know the red pens (well, my group mostly uses pencil) - are out and circling.” -- Jessica Leader

 

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