Kalamazoo Christian Writers Critique Group Holds First Meeting

Peter DeHaan and Jerry Barrett have started a writers critique group, Kalamazoo Christian Writers (KCW), based in Kalamazoo Michigan. The first meeting was held July 11 at The Point, a non-profit community center located on the west side of Kalamazoo.

KCW materials passed out at the inaugural meeting state, “Though this is a Christian writers group, there is no expectation that all our work must be ostensibly ‘Christian’ writing. Christians who write have a place in virtually every genre, market, and industry; we need to embrace and support that.”

“The response was great,” said cofounder Peter DeHaan. “We talked about the vision for the group, shared the critiquing process, and practiced on a couple of pieces.” Attendees were universally excited about the group and what it will offer to improve their writing and advance their careers.

For some time Barrett and DeHaan have been making an hour drive twice a month to take part in another critique group. When they realized the value of group critiquing and with the uncertainty of winter driving in Michigan, they began making plans to form a local group. Though the two intend to remain connected with the first group, this new endeavor, KCW, will be their focus.

“The main value of a critique group is to help the writer to look at the window of the craft of writing not through it,” said cofounder Jerry Barrett. “The goal of critique is to help one another, as writers, to accentuate what is clear for the reader and to remove possible smudges on the pane.”

The critiquing process is scalable, so there’s no limit to the size of the group – and the meeting room is large enough to accommodate a much larger scope. Regardless of the number present, writers will split into manageable sized groups to maximize effectiveness and minimize time requirements. Critiquing is best when done in groups of four or five, with everyone having a piece to share and everyone providing feedback.

The group meets the second Wednesday of each month. Email Peter DeHaan for more information.

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