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“Ask an Editor” is a forum wherein SCBWI members submit questions that are answered as part of our quarterly Kite Tales blog.

Dear Editor – I think my YA novel is finished but would like to show it to other people for feedback. Where can I find a critique group?
—Effie, Culver City

Dear Effie – Congratulations on finishing your novel! A critique group is a smart step. Living in Los Angeles, there are plenty of people locally if you want to workshop with them in person.

FINDING CRITIQUE GROUPS: A great place to start is with SCBWI. Once you’re logged in, Los Angeles critique groups are listed under “Critique Exchange.” The Los Angeles chapter also hosts an annual Critique Day (this year it was on June 3, 2018). These were previously called “Critiquenic.” You can find out more about them on Kite Tales.

Other options include Children’s Book Writers of Los Angeles (LA Co-Regional Advisor, Nutschell Anne Windsor, is the founder), or go to Meet Up and look under “Writing” to see what’s available.

MORE INFORMATION ON CRITIQUE GROUPS: More information including “Starting a Critique Group” and “The Give & Take of Critique” can be found in SCBWI’s annual reference guide The Book: The Essential Guide to Publishing for Children, 2018. Once you’re logged into your SCBWI account, download The Book for free. Or, you can buy a print copy for $6.25 plus shipping (which starts as low as ~$3.80).

HOW TO PROCEED: As with any relationship, it may take a while to find the right match of critique partners. Use reputable sites or sources and ensure safeguards are in place before you share your manuscript. Most critique groups have a coordinator who runs the group. This person is usually responsible for communicating workshop dates and sharing the group’s set of rules (including confidentiality language) with its members.


To ask a question which may be answered in an upcoming Kite Tales, please follow this link and fill in the form. You must be logged in to your SCBWI account to access this feature.

Answers by Christine Van Zandt, professional freelance editor and owner of Write for Success Editing Services.

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