Join A Critique Group

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Calling all Michigan Mystery Writers! Michigan Sisters in Crime has started a new critique group. It’s for mystery writers, and you need to be a member to participate. We meet once a month for two hours at a restaurant in Troy close to I-75. There were four of us at the first meeting. We came from Ann Arbor, Lake Orion, Clarkston and Washington Twp. It was a great success.

Critique groups are great motivators. I’m on fire to write the best pages of my life for this group. Any member of Michigan Sisters in Crime is welcome to attend. You don’t have to be there for every meeting. Summer is busy time. Still, if you’re writing a mystery novel, even a short story, even if it’s your first one, the critique group is a free perk of membership.

The critique group was just one of the many ideas for our chapter cooked up by Super President and founder, Jan Rydzon. I used to teach creative writing, so I offered to help Jan with this group. My role will be to lead the newer writers or writers who are new to crime writing. We’ll talk about craft as well as critiquing pages. If there are enough newbies, we’ll form our own group so everyone gets a turn to share their work.

I am a member of the group too. I brought my first page in for critique just like everyone else. If I can pull it off, the feedback I received will take my opening from not terrible to great. I find first pages the most difficult. All that info to convey about the character plus hook the reader and set up the mystery in about 250 words. Not easy. But a critique group can help you find that extra bit of special to take your writing to the next level.

Contact me at cindy@cynthiaharrison.com if you are interested. Title your subject line MiSinC Critique Group. You want to write or make your writing better? Join us in July. If you’re not a member, it’s easy to join. We are open to all, not just women. Men too. We call them “Misters” 🙂 Not just experienced writers. Even if you have not yet written a word, you can join the chapter and the critique group. Just go to our website for details.

Until then, happy writing!

Sisters in Crime

A few years ago, I went to Sleuthfest. Was researching a subplot, which mostly my subplots have suspense, some even murder. So I needed guidance specific to mystery. I met a friend there and she was surprised I didn’t belong to any mystery writer organization. She encouraged me to join Sisters in Crime.

Time went by. I wasn’t sure if my suspense plots were cutting it. Then my editor, after I turned in my last book, said “this is a mystery, you’ll be on our mystery imprint now.”

Wow. It helped that I was actually trying to write a thriller/noir/gritty city type murder mystery. Validation, somehow. And I remembered my pal who suggested Sisters in Crime. When I found out Sara Paretsky of V.I. Warsharski fame was a founding member, I was hooked. Also Mystery Writers of America did not recognize my publisher, so I’d come in as an unpublished author, which is difficult on the ego after half a dozen novels published.

Sisters in Crime welcomed me as a published author of mystery novels. So I took the plunge. Now I’m contemplating a police procedural workshop this August. I need it. My private eye has a cop friend and I know almost nothing at all about how the police work. I need to step up my game. Sisters is just the next logical and totally exciting step.