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The Writing & Critique Group Survival Guide: How to Make Revisions, Self-Edit, and Give and Receive Feedback [Kindle Edition]

Becky Levine
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Trying to Finish Your Book? There's Strength in Numbers

Whether you're trying to revise your novel or polish up an article to pitch to magazines, it pays to have a few sets of eyes look over your work. But, how can you be sure you're getting an unbiased and objective opinion?

A writing critique group may be the answer you're looking for, and this book arms you with everything you need to find a group that suits your specific writing needs. Whether you're looking to join an existing group or start one of your own, you'll learn how to:

  • Find compatible critique partners
  • Develop your "editor's eye" and analyze writing like a professional
  • Construct organized and well thought-out critiques
  • Give and receive constructive feedback
  • Run efficient critique meetings and maintain a good group dynamic
  • Apply the feedback you receive to your own writing and make revisions
Complete with worksheets, sample critiques and examples, The Writing & Critique Group Survival Guide gives you tools to hone your editing skills and deepen your understanding of how to revise your own work as well as someone else's. With the help of this guide your writing critique group can be a helpful resource for you and your writing partners for years to come.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Becky Levine is a writer, freelance editor, and speaker. A past columnist for WritersTalk, the newsletter of the California Writers Club, South Bay branch. Becky is currently a book reviewer for The Horn Book Guide and has written feature for newspapers such as The Palo Alto Weekly and The Santa Cruz Sentinel. She speaks regularly at writing clubs and conferences. She is also a member of the Society of Children's Book Writer and Illustrators (SCBWI), Sisters in Crime (SINC), and the California Writers Club (CWC). Her website is: Her popular blog is

Product Details

  • File Size: 527 KB
  • Print Length: 306 pages
  • Publisher: Writer's Digest Books (December 18, 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #364,566 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Your publisher will thank you January 31, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Get this book. Your publisher will thank you.

I met Becky Levine before I'd written a word of my book. I just wanted to be a reader for her, but she insisted we form a critique group. I agreed to submit pages to her in two weeks time, despite having only imagined putting words on paper. That was the luckiest decision of my life, leading me on a path to getting book contracts with two publishers.

My first book, WILD GOOSE CHASE, was accepted for publication after many, many passes through my critique group. When I set out to find an agent, I knew I had the best possible version of my story. It was publisher ready.

Her critiques taught me how to read critically, help the others in the group, and most importantly, how to write. I'm so excited that this book is in the marketplace so that writers everywhere can benefit from Becky's passion about critiquing.

Your book will be better. You will form wonderful relationships with other writers and their stories. Your writing will learn to soar. I can't recommend this book enough.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-have for anyone in a writing group February 3, 2010
By scott
If you're in a writing group or are thinking of joining (or starting) one, you need this book. It takes you from the early stages of joining/setting up a group, through how to critique manuscripts, through how to receive critiques from other members and then put them to use. It seriously has everything you need (including handy worksheets that help you organize tasks and put together your critiques). Great book for any writer (regardless of genre).
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read! January 29, 2010
Very readable and insightful! If you belong to a critique group or think you might like to join a group, this is the book for you! Not only does it offer straightforward, practical advice, it's also fun to read. Written in an extremely positive manner, this book will enable you to maximize your potential as a writer in a critique group.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Survival Guide Seeks Writers September 4, 2010
Has your critique group hit an impasse? Are you afraid your comments are too harsh or too hollow? Are you ready to start your own critique group? Whatever your situation, Becky Levine's The Writing & Critique Group Survival Guide: How To Give and Receive Feedback, Self-Edit, and Make Revisions offers sound advice to take a group to the next level.

How do you tell a writer that you zoned out on page 3? Look for the specific causes, whether it's a lack of tension, a hero without a goal, lack of action, non-useful description, or shifting points of view. Levine cites common problems and suggested comments, which she offers in three different critiquer's voices.

In addition to defining and illustrating the nitty gritty of critiquing both fiction and non-fiction, she addresses choosing and running a group. She also offers suggestions for making the best use of your comments once you return to your computer.

Levine's instructive book is a valuable resource for deepening and strengthening the writing group experience. Check your own work against her worksheets to see how you can improve it before taking it to a group. Once you get there, let critiquers know what you are looking for. The give and take of the right critique group can move your story, article, or book proposal to the next level. It can open your eyes. Even if you're working without a group, Levine's suggestions can help.

Though you may not want to read every chapter immediately, The Writing & Critique Group Survival Guide: How To Give and Receive Feedback, Self-Edit, and Make Revisions should be on every writer's book shelf. You'll return to it again and again.

This review originally appeared in Writer Advice, [...]. You Want Me to Do What?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Necessary Book for Any Writer April 28, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It's hard to buy another writing book. Gosh, what more do people have to say on the subject???
But, while I've filled many bookcases with writing books, I must say that this one is special. Levine focuses on the importance of critique groups: how to form them, what to expect, what to offer, and (through all of this), how to bring your writing up to the next level. Levine's easy, humorous style makes this book a pleasure to read. If you've been thinking about critique groups (or are in one and are wondering if you're getting the most from it), you need this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for writers April 26, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book will be helpful not only to people looking to start or reshape critique groups, but it's also inspiring for people starting or reshaping writing projects. The guide is clear, creative, and positive in tone. It's one of those books you'll want to keep near your elbow as you work.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Writing and Critique Group Guide February 14, 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book covers everything we needed to know. We credit it and the wonderful information for our group's great success!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a must have book! February 1, 2012
This is a wonderful book for anyone who is in a critique group while at the same time is working toward completing a novel or a short story, or even a magazine article. The chapters are broken down to assist the reader in self-editing, how to give and receive constructive feedback, and how to make revisions that count. There are several worksheets included to enhance the process of writing and critiquing in addition to a suggested reading list for more information. This book has everything, it is extremely detailed, giving guidance in all areas of writing. I learned way more than I thought I would!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
formatting is all goofed up
Published 2 months ago by karen wright
4.0 out of 5 stars Great resource for serious writers
Perfect guide for working with other authors - critiquing and receiving critiques.
Published 2 months ago by SkyeWriter
5.0 out of 5 stars It's hands-down one of the best books on writing I've ever read
This isn't just a book for critique groups -- the examples and exercises in this book will make you look at your manuscript in a whole new way. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Robyn Hill
5.0 out of 5 stars Critiques
This is a "must" have for anyone who plans to be part of a critique group. You will have a clear understanding of what to expect and what is expected of you. Read more
Published 11 months ago by K. Stewart
5.0 out of 5 stars Great guide
Awesome book. I use this guide for my critique group. Has helped me probide clear and constructive critiques, and evaluate my own writing.
Published 12 months ago by Patrick D.
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading
If you are planning to start a critique group, first buy this book. The author has thought of everything and then some.
Published 17 months ago by C. J. Everett
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
This is a great book for providing guidelines for critiquing others' writings. I facilitate a writing group comprised of mostly "new" or inexperienced writers who are fearful of... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Cheryl L
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Resource
This handbook for starting or joining a critique group contains everything needed to make sound decisions. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Toni Leland
5.0 out of 5 stars Clear, Concise and Well Written
I bought several copies of this book as gifts for the members of the crtique group I'm forming. It will get us on (excuse the pun) the same page and off to a good start. Read more
Published on June 2, 2011 by Elaine E. Webster
5.0 out of 5 stars Very useful, even if your crit group consists of you alone!
Feedback is something all writers need, yet it is not an easy matter to find the kind that will really help your writing.

This book helps navigate the maze for you. Read more
Published on February 4, 2011 by roz morris
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More About the Author

Becky Levine is the author of The Writing & Critique Group Survival Guide, coming from Writer's Digest in January, 2010. Becky is also a book reviewer and a speaker at writing workshops and conferences. She lives in California's Santa Cruz Mountains with her husband, son, cat, and a cockatiel who whistles the Woody Woodpecker theme song.

You can read more about Becky at her website:


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