If there was one thing that the editors and agents at our conferences agreed on, it was that you should be a member of a critique group and get others ideas about your manuscript. And spouses, relatives and/or friends do not count. We try to make it painless, but we want to help you make your MS publishable. Critique circles are free to members. Visitors are welcome on a one-time basis. After that, membership is required. Bring ten double-space line-numbered pages with your name and email in the header to read. Our nearly daily critique meetings are devoted to helping each other polish manuscripts for publication. Many of our members are published. There are usually 5-8 people at our circles. For more information, write us at houstonwritersguild@hotmail.com. See schedules at bottom of page, after our standards, and a slide deck on getting the most out of Critique Circles.

HWG Believes That Effective Critique Circles Embody:

  • Trust
  • Respect
  • Shared Purpose
  • Established Ground Rules
  • Sharing of Challenges
  • Presentation of Best Work
  • Encouragement
  • Differing Perspectives
  • Caring About Work of Others
  • Commitment
  • Timeliness
  • Strong Leadership

As Critique Circle Members, We Commit To:

  • Giving Fearless Feedback
  • Not Forgetting To Include the Positive
  • Being Tough on the Writing But Tender on the Person
  • Listening and Not Speaking When Accepting Feedback
  • Offering Constructive and Specific Feedback
  • Focusing on the Big Issues Verbally (and Using a Checklist to Remind Us What’s Important)
  • Following Our Circle’s Rules/Standards
  • Honesty and Trustworthiness
  • Respecting the Time of Others
  • Critiquing as Requested
  • Consistent and Timely Participation
  • Removing Ourselves From Circles Where We Can’t Add Value
  • Dealing With Problematic Behaviors

New: Intensive Critique Group Seeks Members – Houston Heights

– Long-form fiction only, crime or upmarket preferred

– Meet every other Saturday afternoon in the Heights

– 4-5 members

– 25-50 pages max per meeting (higher page count if fewer members)

– Honest, thoughtful, constructive critique required each session from each member. Non-defensive discussion encouraged.

– 6-month initial commitment (Time to get through 1 major work.)

– Candidates will submit a 5-page writing sample to ensure “fit”

Upmarket fiction and crime are preferred because existing members can give richest critique on those, and need that perspective most from our critique partners. No childrens or non-fiction, please.

If interested, please email a 5-page writing sample of the piece you’ll work in this group to HeightsWriters@gmail.com. We hope we are a great fit!


2nd Mondays in The Heights at the Heights branch of the Houston Public Library from 6 to 745 pm. Email Denise for information.
4th Mondays in The Heights at the Rebecca Nolen’s house starting at 6 pm. Email Denise for information and directions.

1st and 3rd Wednesdays, Pamela Fagan Hutchins’ house (pamela@pamelahutchins.com), 7-10 pm, Bellaire/Meyerland (and by Adobe Connect). Character-driven works: mostly contemporary/mainstream, women’s, young & new adult, all children’s, memoir, romance.

2nd and 4th Wednesdays, Pamela Fagan Hutchins’ house (pamela@pamelahutchins.com), 7-10 pm, Bellaire/Meyerland (and by Adobe Connect). Plot-driven works: mostly sci fi, fantasy, horror, steampunk, speculative, historical, nonfiction, mystery, thriller.

2nd and 4th Wednesdays, Rosemary Miller’s (rosemary.miller@att.net) house, 7-9 pm, Deerpark/Pasadena area.

Thursdays at Monica Stanton’s house (whitecrossesofhouston@gmail.com), 281-380-3897, 7-10 pm, Spring – Willowbrook (Highway 249 / Spring Cypress / Champion Forest)

Thursdays at the YMCA on on Augusta between Woodway and San Felipe at 6:30 pm. Contact Laura Elvebak (lelvebak@sbcglobal.net)

Saturdays at Lynne Gregg’s house (lgregg1823@yahoo.com), 10 am until 1 pm, Westchase area   (lgregg1823@yahoo.com).

Nannette Chapman will host a suspense writers circle in West Houston, near Westpark Tollway and Highway. Time/Day TBD.



Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge for info on use of Adobe Connect.