Participating as a member of an active critique group is almost essential to success as a writer or illustrator.
SCBWI encourages every member to solicit constructive, supportive feedback. Critique groups can: meet in person, or online, regularly, or less so, have several members or only two. There is lots of flexibility here!
If you are a writer or illustrator looking for a critique group, you have options:
* Post a request to the MichKids listserv. Include the following information: genre, experience level (if appropriate), meeting area (Lansing, Detroit, Marquette, etc.), and meeting frequency.
* Navigate to the Blueboards, search on “critique groups” and submit an inquiry.
To learn more about the critique process and how to start a group, see Articles.
The Shop Talk group meets regularly every one or two months. All are welcome to attend. Keep your eye on the Event Calendar for a Shop Talk near YOU! For more information on these meets, or Shop Talks in general, please contact Jennifer Rumberger at jenberger75 [at] yahoo [dot] com.
Contacts for the various Shop Talks happening all over the state are listed below. Reach out to one in your area. Become an active member of our vibrant and enthusiastic creative community! Join a Shop Talk!
“I think I tell you this after all of our SCBWI meet ups, but they are invaluable! The people are great and the critiques are what I need. So thank you for introducing me to the group! You rock!” — Lori
LAST – Lansing Area Shop Talk
Location: Haslett Branch of the Capital Area Public Library, 1590 Franklin Street, Haslett MI http://www.cadl.org/about/hours-and-locations/haslett
Mission: To reach out to the Kid Lit talent in our area and create a community.
Goal: To educate, congregate and celebrate.
~ Charlie Barshaw joined SCBWI in 2009 and became an Advisory Committee member in 2012. He has written and published mid grade short stories for Amazon Rapids, written numerous articles for The Mitten blog, and is currently an editor with them. He’s got four YA and MG manuscript drafts in his drawer, still hopes to release them to the world. He is very fortunate to be married to the talented and vivacious Ruth McNally Barshaw.
~ Ann has been a member of SCBWI since 1999. She is the author of SCIENCE IS GOLDEN: A PROBLEM-SOLVING APPROACH TO DOING SCIENCE WITH CHILDREN and several articles in Cricket, Spider and Highlights for Children Magazines. She writes young adult novels.
SE-Mitten Shop Talk – Farmington Hills
Location: Heritage Park Visitor’s Center in Farmington Hills (on Farmington between 10 and 11 Mile)
Mission: To encourage and inspire fellow SCBWI members in Southeastern Michigan
Goal: To meet regularly and share ideas and insights about the creative process, craft, and current trends and marketing in kidlit that we have learned on our own
~Jennifer has been a member of SCBWI since 2010 and is the coordinator of the Shop Talks. She has a handful of magazine articles/stories to her credit as well as a picture book, DUCKLINGS ON THE MOVE. She is a wife and mother of two active teenagers and continues to write and revise picture books.
~ Patti is a freelance writer and editor, former teacher, wife and mother of three. Patti’s children’s stories have appeared in Boys’ Quest Magazine, Bumples Magazine and MeeGenius EBooks for Children. Her articles on parenting, women’s health and education have been published in a variety of magazines and websites. Patti’s credits include Livestrong.com, UPtv.com, Chron.com, Homelife Magazine, Metro Parent Magazine, San Diego Parent Magazine and many others. Email Patti at email@example.com.
GR West Shop Talk – Grand Rapids
Coordinator: David Stricklen firstname.lastname@example.org
Location: East Grand Rapids Library 746 Lakeside Dr SE, East Grand Rapids, MI
Mission: To pull together the SCBWI writing talent in the Grand Rapids area.
Goal: By tapping into the strengths of each member, we will all grow as writers
~ David is a member of the SCBWI Michigan Advisory Committee and is a student mentor at Northview Middle School near Grand Rapids. He is the author of two YA fantasy adventure books in the Blackwater Pond Series: BENEATH AND BEYOND, a Midwest Book Review “reviewers choice selection” and THROUGH THE EYES OF THE BEAST. The final book in the series, THE HEART OF THE SWARM, will be out in the fall. All three books are published by Beachhead Publishing, an independent publisher in Norton Shores, Michigan. He gives an average of 115 school talks a year. For more details about David and his books, visit www.blackwaterpond.com
Ann Arbor Area Shop Talk – Ann Arbor
Location: The Ann Arbor District Library at 343 S 5th Ave – Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104
~ Betsy McKee Williams lives in Ann Arbor, supports college writing by day, and does her own writing after hours. A member of SCBWI since 2012, she is currently pursuing an MFA in Writing for Young Readers through the Solstice MFA Program at Pine Manor College. Betsy is completing her first middle grade novel, Falling Out of Time.
Up North Shop Talk – Traverse City
Coordinator: Heather Shumaker email@example.com
Location: Traverse Area District Library, youth services area, 610 Woodmere Ave., Traverse City, MI.
Mission: To create a supportive community for northern Kid Lit creators.
Goal: Exchange knowledge, inspiration and resources among fellow SCBWI members.
– Heather is the author of three books for adults and a debut middle-grade novel THE GRIFFINS OF CASTLE CARY coming out in spring 2019. She’s been a member of SCBWI since 2013, blogs at www.heathershumaker.com and loves all things kid lit.
KAST Kalamazoo Area Shop Talk
Coordinators: Isabel O’Hagin (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Julia Richardson
Location: Comstock Public Schools Administration Bldg. 3010 Gull Rd, Kalamazoo, MI 49048
Mission: To learn, serve, and inspire as we create a community.
Goal: The Kalamazoo Area Shop Talk will meet on a regular basis to better serve the membership by providing opportunities to network, develop skills, share resources, and celebrate the creative process.
– Storyteller Isabel O’Hagin (Ph.D.), writing as Ysabel Estrada, has been a member of SCBWI since 2013. As a pre-published author she writes stories steeped in Latino culture based in the southwest where she lived most of her life. She has written two middle grade novels, several picture books and is currently working on a YA novel. In 2018 she was recognized as a runner-up in the SCBWI-MI Novel Mentorship Contest. Her publication credits include teacher education articles, book chapters in early childhood music, and serving as editor for a state education journal.
–Julia Richardson has a debut picture book tentatively titled, Little Dandelion Seeds the World pending publication at Sleeping Bear Press. She is rep’d by Victoria Selvaggio of Storm Literary Agency. She lives in Mattawan and has been a member of SCBWI since 2014. Learn more about Julia here: https://www.juliarichardson.net