Last week, I posted “Shared Dreams, Shared Success: The Power and Value of Critique Partners” over at Writer Unboxed:
For almost 10 years now, Sarah Wedgbrow, Stephanie Mooney, and Ingrid Palmer have been my critique partners. Somewhere along the way, they also became some of my closest friends. When we all lived in the same city, we would meet every week at Barnes & Noble and mark up printed pages with comments and questions. Now we use Google Hangouts to span 3 time zones and 4,600 miles, emailing each other files to read and discuss.
I can say without a doubt that I would not be the writer (or the person) I am today without these women. We each bring our own strengths to the group, and then we use those strengths to build each other up. Sarah is a master of character, with impeccable story instincts. Stephanie’s imagination never fails to dazzle and delight me. Ingrid could rewrite the phone book into poetry.
The value of our group has been top of mind recently, because two weeks ago, Ingrid celebrated the launch of her debut novel, a tough but hopeful Young Adult contemporary called ALL OUT OF PRETTY.
It feels incredible and surreal to see this book out in the real world, to hold a finished copy in my own two hands, after spending years going over the pieces of it with Ingrid. This story may not be mine, but I feel love and pride for it all the same. And for Ingrid. And for her bright, beautiful, resilient protagonist Andrea.
Next week, Ingrid will return to Cincinnati for the Ohio launch of her book, hosted at our beloved indie bookstore Joseph-Beth. I can’t wait to see her again, to hug her, to scream and jump with excitement with her. This is a dream come true — hers and ours.