Constructive Critique Groups?
       After all my doom and gloom about critique groups and coaches this
       month, one would wonder if I would ever get to the positive aspects of
       critique groups and how we can develop and maintain a constructive
       critique group.
       Well, constructive critique groups do exist. There are some groups
       that just thrive. But how do some groups thrive and others decompose
       to a pile of rubble? Here are a few tips on developing constructive
       critique groups:
            1. Have a mission statement for the group, one that all the
               members agree with.
            2. Have some written rules of how critiques should be written and
               how the positive comments should be balanced with the
            3. Choose the members of the group carefully. If one of the
               members seems to be negative all the time, it is time to talk to
               them about the overall purpose of the critique group.
            4. Create positive relations between members of the group. Try and
               formalize the rules so that everyone knows the rules and can
               commit to them.
            5. Create a submission schedule that everyone can follow and
               adhere to it as closely as possible. Only emergency situations
               should change the schedule.
            6. Create a critique schedule and stick to it. Make sure that late
               critiques are not encouraged.
            7. Make sure that everyone is one the same page about the rules of
               the group, and that when the group forms, make sure that
               everyone agrees to the rules.
       By following these tips, you could have a healthy and encouraging
       critique group. Good luck in forming your critique group!
       ~ Irene


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