Dedicated to learning better writing through critiquing
(established 2005; formerly Vestal Writers founded in 1992)
The group’s focus is genre novels–mystery, suspense, thriller, action-adventure, science fiction, fantasy, horror, historical, romance, etc. Emphasis is on being productive writers–writing, revising, and submitting novels for traditional publication. Sorry, but this group doesn’t critique literary fiction, memoir, nonfiction, poetry, screenplays, plays, essays, magazine and newspaper articles, etc. This group focuses on traditional publishing rather than self-publishing.
The group exists solely for the purpose of learning publishable writing through critiquing. Members of the group ascribe to the idea that good fiction writing can be learned and through study and practice they will become better writers (also known as a growth mindset). Critiquing, also known as workshopping, is the basis of the MFA approach.
A successful critique group requires positive, helpful attitudes and a willingness to help yourself through giving time and energy to help others. When you offer suggestions on someone’s work, you’re learning how to diagnose and solve problems and weaknesses in your own work.
Critiquing should empower members with a sense of collective and individual progress.
Goals of the Group:
- To keep writing and keep improving
- To provide support and encouragement to each other
- To get (and keep) members traditionally published
The group doesn’t organize activities or exercises, invite speakers, or promote published members. For networking, market news, promotion, etc., members are encouraged to join and participate in national and local writing organizations such as:
- Mystery Writers of America (MWA),
- Romance Writers of America (RWA),
- Women’s Fiction Writers Association (WFWA),
- Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA),
- International Thriller Writers (ITW),
- Horror Writers Association (HWA),
- Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI),
- Historical Novel Society (HNS), etc.
If you’re a genre novelist (published or not), and you live a reasonable distance from downtown Ithaca, NY (USA), and you’re interested in possibly joining, first print out, read, and be prepared to pass a quiz on (just kidding, but please do actually read carefully) these two pages:
If this group doesn’t sound right for you (and it makes no claim to be right for everyone), try finding a writing group, or starting your own.
Updated July 18 , 2023
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Photo: Ithaca, NY courtesy of the talented Paul Joran