Sunday, 23 January 2011

SCBWI - I'm in with the SCooBWI Gang

Free invite? All-comers welcome? Count me in.

I went to a Critique-Nique (a blend of critique and picnic. ;))  With my five hard copies of 2,000 words of my manuscript – first time I have made hold-in-your-hand copies for about 12 months – I used Seamus-the-SATnav to help me find Waterstone’s Birmingham.

I parked. Arrived. Spoke to staff:
“Hi!” *cheery smile “I believe you’re hosting a Writers' Meeting, could you tell me where?”
He said, “Not here. I think it must be in our other store.”
I must have looked as panicked as only a visitor to Birmingham’s city centre who has found themselves on the brink of the abyss into the heart of the Black Country, can look ;) . There are two. Who’d have thought?
“It’s not far,” he said.
I scurried down the street. Thankfully, it really wasn’t that far. I tried again.
“Hi!” *cheery smile “I believe you’re hosting a Writers' Meeting, could you tell me where?”
She said, “Not here. I think it must be in our other store.”
You know, I could have fun doing this all day? I thought – or a shorter collection of other four letter words.
But Nina, another writer-on-the-road-to-publication, was there, in the wrong store too. We hurried back up the street and kept looking ‘til we found the writerly bunch hanging out on the fourth floor of Waterstone’s 1.

If the aim is to provide support for unpublished writers and illustrators, they did a bang-up job.

I got to read other people’s excerpts and think stories and words. Being surrounded by people whose eyes don’t glaze over when you talk about POV, protags and antags and motivation, was great.  

I’m inspired to find a local critique group. After finding funds to pay for subs, I think I might make my own SCooB-WI Gang. Do you think I’d make a good gang leader?


  1. I would say so, you have a lot of enthusiasm and that's always a good sign.

    Good luck getting your group together.


  2. Thanks Michael. Enthusiasm will get me started then I'll need all the luck I can get :)

  3. Wow, sounds like it was a good experience!!!

  4. It's great your local bookstore hosted such an event. I think you starting a critique group is a wonderful idea. I just joined a writer's group in my area and my first meeting is Tuesday night. It's exciting to meet others who share your passion.

  5. I'm glad you found it in the end. Good ol Percy Verance. It sounds like you had a great time. :O)

  6. Hi Lindsay
    It was well worth the time. I recommend it to any writer. :)

    Hi Heather
    Good luck when you get to the writer's group. I'm excited for you, and a little envious. I wish the group I visited was closer, Birmingham is about 100 miles from home. I can't find much evidence of a North London group. So, yep, a DIY (Do It Yourself) Critique Group seems like a plan ;)

    Hi Madeline
    Gotta love a super hero - that Percy is always around when you need him ;) I had a tonne of fun :)

  7. From your determination to find this elusive meeting, I'd say you're off to a great start. I love my crit groups (most are SCBWI members)

  8. Hi Tricia
    You are very lucky. Enjoy and celebrate the joy of the crit groups that READ.

  9. Haha, you'd be a great leader! I love my crit group. They're awesome.

  10. I have a writing group where I live, and we just sit and write together. reading each other's work is fun! Sometimes we do crits as well, and that is good too.

    I started the writing group, and am sure you'll make a good gang leader if you start one!

    I left you an award on my blog, check it out :)

  11. Hi Damyanti
    It seems to be the only way -if you want a local crit group you have to set it up and run it. Thank you for my award, I'll be over to collect it. :)