Stephanie writes young adult contemporary novels and is the creator of GoTeenWriters.com. Her novels include The Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt series (Revell) and the Ellie Sweet books (Playlist). You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and check out samples of her work on her author website including the free novella, Throwing Stones.
It's my birthday, and I can't help but think about the many, many things I'm grateful for. My husband, my kids, the Kansas City Royals, my job, etc.
|Me and Erica Vetsch at ACFW|
While Erica and I did sometimes critique for each other, what really mattered was the support. When I didn't final in a contest, she encouraged me. When the publishing house passed on my book, she told me how much she still believed in it. And after years of being a lonely writer, that meant so much to me.
|Carole, Mary, me, and Roseanna. Our original critique|
group, which was formed in 2007 but eventually split as
our needs diversified. Sadly, Mary passed away in 2010.
|Me and Betsy St. Amant (Hey, Jill, you're in the background! I think this is right before we became buds!)|
I could also talk about Jill Williamson, Shannon Dittemore, Betsy St. Amant, Jenny B. Jones, Melanie Dickerson, Nicole O'Dell, Sally Bradley, my fellow Playlist Fiction authors, and many others who have provided an important writing community, but I'll get to the point.
|Me and Jill at the ACFW awards gala (color coordination unplanned!)|
Many of you have sent me emails asking for a way to find critique partners. Since we're not able to have a Go Teen Writers Conference, we're going to try a "critique partner match up" of sorts.
Below is a form that we've created in hopes that we can help you meet a writer friend or two. We (Jill and I) have been in many critique groups of varying success, so we've given lots of thought to what made groups a success.
If you're interested, you can fill out the form. As we get responses, we'll try our best to match you up according to your preferences. Will it work out for everybody? We hope so, but we know from experience that some groups and partners will click and flourish while others won't. Some might work for a time but eventually fade away. That's just how it goes with critique relationships.
But our hope is that at least some of you will make a great new writing friend, and that all of you will grow through the process.