Friday Five Poll: What Would YOU Want Me to Talk About

Hey, all–

First, before I forget, don’t forget to check out my review & giveaway of Maggie Stiefvater’s Shiver. Still time to enter!

So…I’m working on some talks for future workshops & conference presentations. The basic idea is that I’ll talk about critique groups and critiquing, but I’m playing with which specific elements to focus on. So I thought, for today’s Friday Five, I’d post a few possibilities and see what you all thought.

If you were coming to hear me speak, which (one or more) of these topics would you pick?

  1. Growing a Critique Group: How to Find, Start, and Run a Productive Group
  2. Sitting on Both Sides of the Table: How to Critique and Be Critiqued
  3. What AM I Supposed to Say?: Developing and Writing a Strong Critique
  4. What Do I Do Now?: Revising from Critique Feedback
  5. Building a Group for the Future: How to Stay Flexible as your Group Changes & Grows

(And obviously, if you have any grammar tips on how to deal with a colon after a question mark, I’m all ears!)

What do you think? If none of these grab you, or something else brilliant pops into your head that you’d like to share, I’d love to hear it. Any and all comments welcome!

Happy weekend-get that book and/or laptop outside into the sunshine!

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18 thoughts on “Friday Five Poll: What Would YOU Want Me to Talk About

  1. Great choices! I like #2 and #5.

    As for a suggestion, go for Quick Critique Survival Class that focuses on what to do when things go wrong. Could be humorous and informative: What do you do when it’s time to move on, what do you do when everyone develops at different paces (some people like the variety, others would rather stay with people at their level), what to do if you need different type of feedback from your critique group, etc.

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    • beckylevine says:

      Thanks, Vivian! I’m thinking that #5 needs to definitely have some of that “survival”/troubleshooting stuff in it!

      #2 I’ve been doing as part of my talks, and I think I need to develop it more to be it’s own thing!

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  2. Nancy Laughlin says:

    For myself, I’d go with number 5. Building a Group for the Future: How to Stay Flexible as your Group Changes & Grows.

    I’ve been a member of many groups over the years, and this seems to be one of the hardest things to do. Most people want the group to stay exactly the way it’s been, not change at all, which isn’t at all realistic.

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    • beckylevine says:

      Nancy–yay! The only way a group can stay the same is if the authors and their writing stay the same–and that’s not the purpose of a critique group. You’re exactly right, we’re all supposed to be growing here. 🙂

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  3. Tiare S. says:

    I’d go to #4 or 5. My critique group has been together for a few years, but I would love some tips on keeping it together as our needs change. Also, I am often at a loss as to how to revise when I get so many different comments on the same submission. Whose are more valid? How can I use their advice?

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    • beckylevine says:

      Thanks, Tiare! I’m glad you like these ideas. I almost think I need to have a couple of talks ready to switch between, depending on where the audience is on experience!

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    • beckylevine says:

      Thanks, Beth–I think you’re right that they might work for different audiences. Which means two talks & a quick pick & choose, but I think I can handle that! 😉

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    • beckylevine says:

      Ha! That sounds like it’s needed. I haven’t figured out yet how to teach smaller stuff online *heads to to-do list*, but I am supposed to be teaching a critique workshop through Writer’s Digest sometime next month, and there will be some talk about revising. And there’s a section on it in my book! Thanks for the comment. 🙂

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  4. If I were to sign up for one these talks today, I’d pick number 5. Especially if you address what to do when fellow group members are trying to lead your career down the wrong path. But that’s just what I’m personally struggling with now. Topic number 2 is probably more useful to a wider audience.

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    • beckylevine says:

      Oh, now you’ve got me curious! How clearly (and politely, of course!) have you explained to them that’s NOT where you’re going? 🙂 And 5 is getting an awful lot of votes!

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  5. Hi Becky:

    It would be so cool to hear your presentation in person.

    I like #2 and #5. If I had to choose between them — probably #5. Would love to hear about managing a group as it grows.

    Have a great weekend.

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  6. It’s interesting how group dynamics change when you critique with different people. This doesn’t exactly fall in line with your question, but maybe you can help…

    I’m in a critique group that I LOVE and I completely trust what they tell me. Then I’m also in a class where we critique each other online. So while I’m totally comfortable speaking my mind and giving honest critiques to my group members, I get a totally different vibe from these unseen people that I critique with. I don’t feel able to critique them with the same honesty or candor because I don’t want to offend them. How do you address that difference and still give a valid critique to someone? Would that fit with #2 on your list?

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    • beckylevine says:

      It is harder for me, too, to do some of this online, but I think part of that may be my brain just not being used to it. I do have to push myself to be just as honest and constructive when I know I won’t see the response, but I think I’m getting there. I think I could fit it into #2 OR #5–but I may need to get a talk on online crits versus in-person one’s going.

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