profile

Julie Artz | author, editor, book coach, dragon

[Wyrd Words Weekly] A one-two punch for critique partner success

Published about 1 year ago • 2 min read

Hello Reader,

When I was writing my first novel (you know, back when I was in my 20s and dinosaurs still roamed the Earth), I didn't know any other writers. The internet was just becoming a thing, so I did take some online classes and received some helpful emailed feedback from a couple of kind editors who were the recipients of my first few truly awful short stories.

But I'll be honest, I didn't know what I was doing. And I made some gaffes. I didn't follow submission guidelines to the letter. I replied to feedback asking follow-up questions that those kind editors really didn't have time for. When I finally did meet a real writer in the flesh, I asked her to read my book (she was very famous but also, luckily for me, incredibly gracious, or this could have gone much worse than it actuall did).

So when I sat down to write my next book in my 30s, I was determined to know more and do better. And that started with making connections in the writing community. Unfortunately, I was living in Finland at the time and once again did not know any local English-language writers. But a friend told me about National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), and from there I discovered the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and WriteOnCon.

Those organizations were responsible for leading me to my first set of critque partners, some of which have become my closest friends and writing partners. They were great resources for feedback on whether a scene was working, how to deepen a character, or where a plot was saggy or illogical. But they were so much more than that as well. They were sounding boards, resources, and emotional support all in one.

Having critique partners has changed my writing life from a lonely endeavor fraught with pitfalls, missteps, and rejection to one where I have guides to navigate those bumps in the road, to celebrate successes, and commiserate on failures (Alas, even the best critique partner cannot remove rejection from the mix).

That's why I started CP Meet Cute, my free critique partner matching service, last year. I'm thrilled to be holding it again this winter. Registration is open now and, in addition to the matching, which will happen in time for Valentine's Day in February, I'm also hosting a free best-practices webinar with Q&A on January 23 at 3pm Pacific/6pm Eastern. So if you've had critique groups fail in the past, or are struggling to form long-term critique partner relationships, bring your questions to me on January 23 and I'll share what I've learned over the years.

My New Year wish for each of you is that you find the writing community that's right for your unique situation. Hopefully CP Meet Cute and my best-practices webinar will help.

TOMORROW - Be A Bestseller!

You might have noticed a few extra emails in your inbox this month about Be A Bestseller: Write Your Novel With Confidence. In case you missed it, the event runs from 16-27 January 2023 and it’s totally free. I'm really excited to share my chat with friend and fellow book coach Emma Dhesi about writing socially and environmentally conscious fiction. I hope you'll check it out: https://masterclass.beabestseller.net/Julie

It starts tomorrow, so don't miss out (but also don't worry, I'll be back to my regular weekly newsletter from here on out).

Hope to see you there!

Warmly,

Julie

Julie Artz | author, editor, book coach, dragon

Julie Artz helps writers who dream of a life spent telling stories that matter slay their doubt demons so they can send their work out into the world with confidence. An active member of the writing community, she has volunteered for SCBWI, TeenPit, and Pitch Wars and is a member of EFA, the Authors Guild, and AWP. A social and environmental justice minded story geek, Julie lives in an enchanted forest outside of Seattle, Washington, with her husband, two strong-willed teenagers, and a couple of naughty furry familiars. Check out her weekly newsletter, Wyrd Words Weekly, and subscribe today.

Read more from Julie Artz | author, editor, book coach, dragon

Hello Reader, When I dig into a new story, I always go through a honeymoon period where I'm so excited about the idea that I've forgotten just how tricky writing that zero draft can be. During this honeymoon phase, the ideas come at me faster than I can type them up and sometimes I even get what my family calls "story brain," when I get caught staring at the wall thinking about my story when I'm supposed to be talking to them or getting myself ready or really doing any number of other things...

5 days ago • 5 min read

Hello Reader, I'd like to give a special welcome to folks just joining us from ProWritingAid's Romance Writers' Week. I'm so glad you're here (and just in time to celebrate!). There's nothing better in the life of a book coach than witnessing a hard-fought client win, which is one of the reasons it's been a pretty fabulous week around here. My friend, client, and fellow book coach Suzette Mullen celebrated the release of her heart-wrenching, vulnerable, empowering memoir, The Only Way...

12 days ago • 2 min read

Hello Reader, What's the best gift you've ever received? When we think of gifts, we often think of things that come in shiny packages with beautiful ribbons and bows. Or a birthday cake with candles and delicious icing. And I love those too (who doesn't?). But the best gift I got for my birthday this past week was one I gave myself: Time. OK, there was birthday cake too. I'm not a monster :) That's right. I gifted myself a writing retreat. Three whole days to write with no other...

18 days ago • 3 min read
Share this post