“I guess we’ve all left marks on each other’s stories. Sometimes bruises when we’re being whipped into shape, but what’s life without a few big black ‘X’s? Anyhow, I’m really glad to be part of this group. I can’t wait to see where we all end up.”
My crit partner Stephanie said that in an email back in January, and it really stuck with me. The ways I have been shaped by my writing buddies. The marks I leave on them. The potential we have. The places we are going.
I have 3 local crit partners, and 2 we-know-each-other-in-real-life-but-don’t-live-nearby crit partners. Let me go chronologically.
I met John (or Ding, as I more commonly call him) through my first boyfriend. They were best friends. Somewhere along the way, I lost the one and gained the other. Now Ding is pursuing law school, but reading and writing have always been his passions. He sends me snippets of whatever he’s working on (usually a different story every week, haha) and offers me valuable feedback on mine. And a boy’s perspective!
Erin and I knew each other in college, where we both studied Creative Writing and even had a few classes together, but we were peripheral friends at best. Then a year or so after graduation, I emailed her about something, she emailed me back, and we hit it off. Now I consider her a close friend, and a role model. Last year she snagged a fantastic agent, and her Young Adult fantasy novel is currently on submission to editors.
The local gals are Sarah, Steph, and Ingrid. We broke off from a larger group of writers here in Cincinnati, since we were all writing Young Adult novels. Now we meet every week to share our new pages, eat goat cheese and chocolate, and go off on tangents.
Sarah and I both have our own blogs (check out her post about our writing group, “Peter Pan Club”) but Steph and Ingrid do not. Or rather, did not. Until now.
We Heart YA is a new group blog that intends to celebrate Young Adult literature. The four of us will talk about what we’re reading, what we’re writing, and whatever else we think about the YA world. If you’re interested in that, please hop on over. (We’re also on Facebook and Twitter.) To launch our project, we’re giving away 3 YA books!
So that’s the crew. Well, there are a lot of other people who have contributed to who I am as a writer — who continue to contribute. A good number of y’all, I hope you know. But these are the 5 who have to endure my first draft crap, lol. Someday everyone will know their names, read their books, and see their movies. For now, though, I figured they deserved at least my recognition.