Four months later, I was invited to join two smaller critique groups. The choice was put before me, and I am so grateful for the one the Lord helped me make!
Over the next little while "Love Revealed" was chosen as our name and a critique group was formed by Marion Ueckermann, Heidi McCahan, Janet Ferguson, Laura Hodges Poole and myself. At the time three of us had been published and the rest of us were still "slushing" it for the most part.
And Heidi debuted with Unraveled:
And Laura had a short story included in an anthology.
There were other minor publications, but this gives you an idea of where we were at.
Introductions were made, and we started officially submitting ~4000 words/week to each other. Month after month we submitted, slowly working through everything from full novels to short stories. Over the past two years we have laughed together, patted each-other’s backs, felt each other’s disappointments and joys, and told some great stories. We each have our strengths and weaknesses (like my ability to leave out articles and other small words--honestly I don't understand how it happens!) and have rounded out and deepened each other’s stories.
When signing a couple of contracts in the fall, it struck me that everything I have sent through my critique group has been published or contracted—something that wouldn’t have happened without the assistance of these writers, their insights and their kind honesty.
In celebration of two years together, I would like to share some of this group's accomplishments:
Two ACFW Genesis Semi-finalists
ACFW First Impressions Finelist
Love Inspired's Blurb to Book- one of us made it to the second round, and one of us made it to the final round (both of us received full manuscript requests!)
Storming The Short Story Contest hosted by the Texas chapters of ACFW: we dominated the romance category with a win and honorable mention (both stories were published!)
ACFW Virginia Chapter's Short Story Contest- A win!
Winner of the Idahope Writers Contest
That last one holds two of our stories! :)
Currently we also have another four novels contracted for publication, and even more in the works!
One of our books will soon be available in Norwegian, as well!
Not bad for two years.
I look forward to many more years writing with these wonderful ladies as I know my writing would not be what it is without them. Thank you!
What has your experience been with critique groups?
In case you want a closer look at any more of those great titles, here are the Amazon links. :)
Laura Hodges Poole
Angela K Couch
Angela K Couch is an award-winning author for her short stories, and a semi-finalist in ACFW’s 2015 Genesis Contest. As a passionate believer in Christ, her faith permeates the stories she tells. Her martial arts training, experience with horses, and appreciation for good romance sneak in there, as well. Angela lives in Alberta, Canada with her “hero” and three munchkins. Visit her at www.angelakcouch.com, or follow on Twitter or Facebook!