Attend A Critique Group

After turning my writing switch on (see Tip #7), there came a day when I got hit by a story idea that wouldn’t leave me alone. It was that first idea that started me on this journey.  I went to the bookstore and found a book on how to publish.  From there I learned about the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).  I joined.  And from there I discovered a local critique group—which turned out to be more than I ever imagined.

 Tip # 8:  Attend a Critique Group 

Of all the professional development I did as a teacher—and I did a lot—attending my critique group was the most valuable.  The only rule the group had was that you couldn’t share writing your first time attending.  So I went just to listen.  And it was amazing!  The group was so welcoming and encouraging, the writing was beautiful, and the comments were so smart and insightful.  It was incredibly inspiring to hear passionate readers and writers sharing their stories. But here’s what’s most important:  The conversations that took place in my critique group made me a better writer and a far better teacher of writing. 

I became so excited about my critique-group experiences that I went back to my classroom and implemented critique groups with my third graders.  We were authors!  That too, was an awesome experience!  Look for implementing critique groups in the classroom to be next month’s teaching tip.     

Happy Writing!

I’d love to hear from you if you find Mr. Terupt’s tips helpful or if you have additional thoughts or questions.  You can email me at and visit me at  Follow me on twitter @robbuyea.  Look for tip #9 to be posted on Monday, March 7th.  

3 thoughts on “Attend A Critique Group

  1. Hi Rob, I contacted you earlier in the week about possibly being featured in an E-newsletter that a friend and I publish for teachers and librarians. We have a copy of Because of Mr. Terupt we’d give away to a lucky winner. And we’d link to your blog and website. The request was for you to write a short piece on your experience with bullies in the classroom. As a fellow author I realize how busy you are so I understand if you don’t have time or inclination to do this. Please feel free to decline if it doesn’t work out. I’m not sure if you received the email (as listed on your website) or not and I surely don’t want to bug you but if you can’t do it, I will ask another author instead. All best! And congratulations on all your successes with Mr. Terupt and students.

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