Mission of CP Matchmaker

This site is to match writers with Critique Partners.

This site came about because I've talked with so many beginning and intermediate writers who don't have another writer they trust or have confidence in to send their work to be critiqued.

My hope is this will bring together writers who form bonds and help each other with their writing. If it hadn't been for the guidance and generosity of a judge in a contest who took me on as a critique partner, I would still be floundering with my writing.

Family and friends are good readers to give you encouragement, but when you have another career focused writer critique your work, it's when your writing blossoms.

How To Critique

1) Take every submission seriously (remember they are reading yours and you would want the same). It's not your job to judge. Critique what you've been asked to look for or what you've told the group are your strengths.

2)Meet the story where it's at. Is it a first draft or one the writer wants fine tuned to submit.

3) Start with Praise. When sending the critiqued material back put your thoughts in the e-mail but remember to sandwich your comments. Praise, items to work on, praise.

4) Be a good reader of all kinds of books.

5) Take yourself out of it. Keep comments to what is on the page and never make it personal. Avoid saying "you" or "I don't like the flashback scene." Instead say: "The flashback scene on page two stopped the flow of the story just when it seemed to be picking up momentum."

6) Don't rewrite the story. Instead, help the writer write HIS story.
a. Turn suggestions into "what if" rather than declarations. "What if you
filter the information in the flashback later on in the story."
b. Emphasize what is there, not what isn't to help the writer know what to
keep and what to build on.
c. Let them know what characters piqued your interest.
d. Where the dialog flowed well.
e. If you don't see a theme emerging ask them what the theme is so you can
help them stay within the theme.

7) Critique in Continuum. Writers respond best when feedback is part of a continuing process. "Working, almost working," rather than "Good, bad."

8) Show gratitude. End the critique with a thank you.

9) If there are major craft problems start with a couple and gradually work with your CP to get them all ironed out. Give guidance on places where they can learn the crafts they need help with.

10) Each CP has strengths that will in the end make your story stronger.

Source: Lindy Jacob and Paty Jager