MBM: Getting the Most Out of Your Critique Group

Welcome to the seventh day of March Book Madness! (If you’re new to March Book Madness, check out the explanation and schedule at the bottom of this post.)

Today my friend, Charity Bradford, is here talking about critique groups. I met Charity at a writing conference, and I love her new book, The Magic Wakes. It’s a great sci-fi novel in a vivid, exciting world. Talia is a great character.

I’ve been anxious to hear what she has to say about critique groups. My writing group has been meeting for about a year now, and I love it! We’re always looking for ideas of how to organize things. In fact, we’re meeting tonight, so this is perfect timing.

Here’s Charity.



When I decided to get serious about writing years ago, there was one thing I wanted more than anything else. Okay, maybe two things—to get published, obviously, and to find an amazing writers group. I mean a real life, meet at a coffee shop or library and talk about writing, publishing and critiquing our work so we could get published.

I lived in a huge city. How hard could it be to find three or four writers who wanted the same things I did?

It turned out to be near impossible.

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MBM: The Art of Accepting Criticism, by Mary Bateman-Mercado

Welcome to the sixth day of MARCH BOOK MADNESS!

Today, Mary Bateman-Mercado is here talking about the Art of Accepting Criticism. I’ve known Mary for almost ten years. Like me, she has five kids; three boys and two girls. But unlike me, she seems to have her act together. :)

I’m constantly amazed by Mary’s abilities and talents. (Make sure to read her bio, although there’s a lot not included, like awards and cool people she’s met over her years in journalism — hello, Oprah!) But the best part is that she’s also a gracious, loving person, who’s more than willing to share her knowledge with us. Yay!

  • (Even as I type this, she’s working with a group of young women, including my daughter. She’s so awesome.)

The topic Mary chose is one most of us struggle with — me especially — so I’m thrilled she picked it. Here she is:.


Mary Bateman-Mercado, Channel 7, ABC Detroit
Mary Bateman-Mercado, Channel 7, ABC Detroit


The Art of Accepting Criticism (Without Letting it Destroy Your Enthusiasm), by Mary Bateman-Mercado


What’s the Meanest Thing Anyone Has Ever Said to You?

I heard an interesting discussion on the radio the other day. A question was posed, “What’s the meanest thing anyone has ever said to you?” It was the premise of the talk show host and guest that criticism, even the vile, hurtful type of criticism can work to make you stronger and can actually work to empower you, if you embrace it.

Embrace it? Hmm?

It got me thinking especially in regard to my career as a writer.

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