Critiquing takes practice! When I first felt confident enough to join an author illustrator critique group, I had logged a ton of hours on fundamentals, art classes, and watched instructors give critiques. I felt like I needed a baseline before I jumped in.
And it works for me. I’m seeing growth in my work and the critiques I’m giving.
So how do you start if you have never given a critique before?
Trust your writer/artist gut.
- If you love something, think about why and let you critique partner know.
- If something confuses you or feels like it isn’t working, try to think about why and let your critique partner know.
- Ask questions to get at their “why” behind the literary/ artistic choices they made.
- Be kind & honest.
Identifying those elements in critique partner’s works will make your critique-brain stronger.
Read text and visual art critically, too. Published stories have elements that are work and could be strengthened. Study the masters in your genre. Ask questions. Try to imagine why they made the choices they did. Then figure out how to apply it to your own work and the other stories you critique.
➡️ Critiquing Manuscripts – Children’s Book Academy
➡️ Critique Group Tips – Storyteller Academy
➡️ Getting and Receiving An Illustration Critique – SVS Learn
➡️ The Value of a Critique – ICL, Writing for Children