Wednesday, December 16, 2009


I critique with a group of writers every week.

The group presently consists of six individuals: LeeAnn, Jane, Brittany, Carolyn, Matt, and me. We meet once a week at the library. Our meetings last from 6 PM until the library kicks us out, just before 9 PM.

I have been critiquing in a group of critiquers for a long time now --- for several years, but I don't remember exactly how many years. It's been so long ago that I started that I don't remember all of the particulars. I do remember that our first group included Steve, who now lives in Logan and has written a most excellent personal memoir that recounts his life with a Japanese war bride, Doug, Bruce, and, I think, Norma, and perhaps Rick. Rick moved to Colorado.

None of the original group I started critiquing with now critiques as far as I know. Of course, I haven't kept up with Rick, so perhaps he does. Steve has been too ill to critique or do much else of late. Bruce got involved in something else that took him away from it. I think Norman's life was just too busy to stick with it.

Of that original group, Doug has probably had the greatest success insofar as I know. He had several pieces published in historical journals and whatnot. I don't think he ever made any money off of it to speak of. Nor did he find a publisher for his lengthy histories. However, the novel he never quite finished while he was critiquing with us, he turned it into a screenplay when he started taking a class from the University of Utah. I think it was a U of U. class on screenwriting. He ended up winning a screenwriting contest sponsored by Sundance. The last I talked to him he was trying to shop the screenplay in California. But I haven't spoken with him for a while now, either.

I have published my tax book for writers and artisans, Making Expression Less Taxing. I haven't been able to find an agent to represent my novel, Time for All Eternity, however. I haven't ever shopped that novel to publishers and editors.

Of the people I presently critique with, LeeAnn has been around the longest. Matt has been the most successful. His novel, The Clockwork Three, will come out next year. He got a nice contract with Scholastic earlier this year on the second book he worked on since joining the critiquing group. His first novel didn't sell . . . yet. The people I now critique with are all great writers with varying aptitudes.

Jane has an agent who is shopping her more recently completed novel she brought to our critiquing sessions involving Pastor Pete. She is a great writer and has professional experience as an editor. If they don't publish her, there is no justice in the publishing world.

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