Who are we?

This service aims to provide a self-selection critique partner register where applicants can be appropriately matched with the view to forming ongoing critique partner relationships.

The critique relationship is a special balance of several factors such as complementary writing skills, personality fit and also a magical factor that defies definition that we’ll call “clicking”. We ask that you be open to potential partnerships that you might not have considered before, such as cross-genre matches. Remember, you never know where the person you click with or who will offer you the most might be found.

Are we right for you?

This is a scheme only for those who are ready for feedback. If you really just need encouragement and someone to tell you your work is good, then critiquing is not the best option for you. You might prefer a more social relationship with other writers – in New Zealand, contact your regional convenor or the RWNZ president rwnzpresident@xtra.co.nz, and in Australia contact the groups advisor groupliaison@gmail.com about groups in your area. Also, be aware that critiquing isn’t for everybody – some well known authors prefer not to use a critique partner.

Please read the following to ascertain whether the critique register is for you, and how best you might use it.

Step One: Download the Application Form, fill it out and send to: applycritpartners@romanceaustralia.com. It’s vital that you fill the form out as honestly and comprehensively as possible so that prospective critique partners (CPs) have a clear and detailed profile of you. Your answers will form part of the database that all those who register will have access to. We will provide you with a code name so that you can’t be identified.

In addition to the application questions, you may provide an optional 250-word writing sample (approx. one full ms page). In the experience of our sister scheme, those who posted a sample page of writing to the database were offered matches more often, and their matches had a higher chance of working out. This sample will be uploaded to the files section under your code name so that prospective CPs can see your writing style first-hand. We recommend using a random scene from the middle of your wip. You may want to consider whether anything identifying is in that scene – eg., a paranormal world you’ve created that others may recognise, etc.

Please Note: You are not required to provide this writing sample, it’s entirely voluntary. By providing it with your application you’re granting permission for it to be uploaded to the Files section for potential viewing and downloading by other CP members.

Step Two: When we’ve received your details we’ll send you an email invitation to join the CP Register Yahoo Group.

Step Three: You’ll now able to view details for all available Critique Partners including their unique code name. You are welcome to trial a number of CP matches but we recommend no more than three CP trials at any one time (you still need to do your own writing!) The CP Register is a “read only” Yahoo Group so the only people posting information will be the CP Register team, making the register completely anonymous.

Step Four: When you have selected a match, email helpcritpartners@romanceaustralia.com. We will contact the person you have selected so they have an opportunity to view your details and determine whether they’d like the match to go ahead. We’ll ask them to reply within 48 hours and if they’d like a trial we’ll get back to you with their email address. We suggest you and your prospective CP agree on a “trial time” – perhaps two or three swaps initially – to see if you’re compatible. You might like to read our Critiquing Made Easy Tip Sheet for the practicalities and manners of a good CP.

To ascertain whether a critique partnership is working, you might like to consider the following:

• Whether you like reading their work and feel you have something to offer them;

• Whether you feel that you received enough back from their critique of your work;

• Whether you “clicked” with them.

Step Five: When the trial time has finished and you’ve found your perfect match/or matches it’s important that you email our Technical Support person helpcritpartners@romanceaustralia.com to remove your details from the database so the scheme remains as current and accurate as possible. If your trial didn’t work out, please ensure you communicate this with your trial partner before resuming your search on the database. Not clicking with someone is no slight on them or you and is to be expected in some matches.

At all times please treat your trial CPs with courtesy and respect, both in your critique of their work and in your response to their critique of yours. Remember, you have asked for an evaluation of your work. Please read our CP Code of Conduct before you begin critiquing.

While you’re a member of the CP Register you’ll receive a message each time a new member joins and each time a member’s writing sample is posted.

Further important details:

From time to time you may have issues with the critiquing process or questions about how to deal with issues when you’re establishing your partnership. Please email helpcritpartners@romanceaustralia.com and we will aim to assist you. Any instances of abuse of the system can also be directed here.

If you have technical queries about how your information appears on the website or if you have an access issue, please email helpcritpartners@romanceaustralia.com

For further information about critiquing and how CP relationships have worked for other writers please read the articles below.

We look forward to hearing from you!

To Crit or Not to Crit

How I Critique – Article One

How I Critique – Article Two