Open Versus Closed Writing Critique Groups

Filed in Author Inspirations, Writing Tips by on June 30, 2020 0 Comments

Open writing critique groups are open to everyone who wishes to join with no restrictions in regards to age, writing genre, writing experience, group par...

Open Critique Groups

Open writing critique groups are open to everyone who wishes to join with no restrictions in regards to age, writing genre, writing experience, group participation, meeting attendance, group size, or anything else in that matter. There are also typically little to no rules beyond common courtesy.

PROS

Flexibility: Attendance to meetings–whether virtual or in-person– isn’t mandatory. There’s also no pressure in sharing or participating which many writers that are new to critique groups will appreciate. 

Diversity: You’ll receive and observe feedback from a large variety of perspectives and writing styles.

Networking: If your goal is to expand your network, you’re guaranteed to meet the most people in this type of group.

CONS

Questionable Feedback: Because there’s no guarantee of who’s going to attend each session, there’s no guarantee about the quality of the critiques you’ll receive.

Fluctuating Numbers: There might be times where there will be too many people or not enough people to conduct a meeting or have a significant discussion.

Lack of Trust: Since the work, you present to a critique group will most likely still be developing, you may feel more secure sharing it with people you trust instead of an open group made of strangers.

Closed Critique Groups

Unlike open groups, where you may end up lost in the crowd, closed groups can become pretty close-knit. They usually maintain entrance requirements such as fees, writing samples, “invite-only” admittance, writing genre restrictions, among other things. It’s also common for them to have a limit on the number of members of the group.

PROS

Control: You can maintain certain standards that can improve the quality of the feedback. You can also handpick the members so that group dynamics work well.

Accountability: With smaller, private groups you can expect to gain more accountability on continually growing in your craft. 

CONS

Getting In: You may not be able to get into the group you want to join. You could, however, start your own group. 

Limited Point-Of-View: Sometimes the best feedback comes from people who don’t write in your genre, or who may be new to writing but are great readers. These are a few of the perspectives that closed groups may miss out on.

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