Monday, August 21, 2017

Smart Dummies Critique Groups!

This year things will be a bit different for critique groups. If you want to join a critique group please click the link below and fill out a quick survey. Deadline to complete this survey is September 3rd. After that you will have to find your own critique partners.

Joining a critique group is not required to win Smart Dummies. A critique group, however, will help you achieve this goal. You can find your own critique groups if you'd like instead. You can also use this to add people to your established critique group. Sarah LuAnn Perkins ( and I (Dani Duck) will be putting you into critique groups. If you have any questions please let us know! You can also post questions on the Facebook Group if you think the information will benefit everyone!

Below is a guide for critique group etiquette. The guide and the bulk of the survey above was created by Leila A. Nabih. (So be sure to thank her below!) You can check out Leila's website here:

Critique Group Guide

• Introduce yourself ( name, country or city, writing style, illustration level, age of preferred
target audience, published or unpublished and anything else you think of

• Explain what you hope to achieve with the Smart Dummies Challenge.

• What is your manuscript about ?( Synopsis in 50 words or less)

• Assign an admin for the group: That is someone that will make sure everyone gets
to submit their work in equal number or turns, someone that will be reminding
everyone to post their critiques, and that will make sure everyone remains polite
and constructive throughout the process. It’s usually best if someone volunteers to
take on this extra responsibility. Otherwise, we would recommend that this “facilitator”
person be someone with previous critique group experience.

• Critique Schedule: When you will critique? (everyday so that everyone can get a turn
more often, twice a week, only on the weekends…)

• What you will critique? ( writing or illustration or both)

• How you will share your work? ( in the group as attachments or files or photographs,
or by email , or any other means… )


• A good critique is constructive.

• Be sensitive towards other people’s work.

• The purpose of joining a critique group is to receive not only praise, but also feedback
that will make your work greater than it already is.

• Different perspectives from different people is usually a good way for you to find
out what would represent you and what wouldn’t, whilst challenging you to keep
an open mind about other possible alternatives you might not have thought about.
You don’t have to take everyone’s opinion on board, just listen to what is being
said, and say thank you.

• If you feel like you cannot offer any constructive critique elements, then don’t.

• If someone is being rude or mean or a bully, warn them once, then if they pursue
with their behaviour, remove them from the group ( that would also be the admin’s

• You can leave the group if you don’t feel like you are a match with the other members.

This is an experience that is supposed to be instructive and fun.


  1. this is a wonderful option-thanks for offering iy

  2. Great guide, Leila. It's good to see you on Smart Dummies again this year.