Critique Guidelines

The focus of Cross N Pens is growing writers. A large part of this is done through the critique groups at our monthly meetings. If you are new to Cross N Pens and would like to know how this process works, here's what you can expect:

Critique Procedures:

  • After an initial short meeting, everyone is assigned to a small group of generally 4-6 people.
  • The first writer to share his work will pass out his material. The writer then has 30 seconds to give the group any pertinent background on the piece. 
  • Another member, not the author, will read the piece aloud. All the group members will then give their feedback.
  • Cross N Pens practices the sandwich method of critiquing. We give positive feedback on what we, as readers, like about the piece. We then suggest a few areas for improvement. Comments are wrapped up with what we think the author is doing well. 
  • Note: Only Cross N Pens members can bring material for critique. However, non-members are welcome to participate by listening and providing feedback.

Material Guidelines:

  • Writings should be no more than 1500 words.
  • All lines must be numbered. (Click here for instructions on using Microsoft Word to automatically add line numbers.)
  • Bring 5-6 copies of your piece so each person can have a copy on which to write notes and return to you.
  • Optional - You can add 2-3 bullet points at the top of your writing to let readers know the specific areas where you are seeking feedback. Examples of possible feedback items: 
    • Is the action sequence confusing? 
    • Does this devotion stay on topic with the Bible verse? 
    • I'm about to send this for publication in a magazine. Have I missed any grammar issues?

First-time visitors are welcome to simply listen and observe.