Tips from No Red Pen

E-BookTips from No Red Pen: Writers, Writing Groups & Critique

An excerpt of key points from the book.


– A critique group is the writer’s team.

– Fear keeps the writer from seeking critique.

– Respectful dialogue mitigates fear.

– Why someone does or doesn’t like the work is important and useful. Liking or not liking is only interesting.


– Feedback is important, yet fear can get in the way.

– The work is not the writer’s identity, not liking the work and not liking the writer are not the same.

– Critique is not about you, it is about the writing.

– A healthy relationship with your writing encourages healthy interactions with the critique provider.

– Freedom for honest feedback is not license for abuse, disrespect, or insult.


– Writers join critique groups fundamentally to become better writers.

– The promise: Honestly evaluate the writing, provide honest feedback, treat the work and writer with respect, and remember the writer is part of the process.


– The personal response to the writing is unimportant, the emotional depth of response is useful.

– “Is it true?” is unimportant and no one’s business. Don’t ask.

– Use your license as an artist to express yourself with intention.


– Liking the work is not important, why or why not is important.

– Skip the red pen.

– You are not the copy editor. Editing by committee rarely works out well.


– Anything discussed in English class when learning about literature or writing.

– Really don’t know where to start – Answer “Do I believe the narrator? Is the narrator credible?”

– Look critically, not personally.

– Don’t be attached, your critique is interesting information for the writer, that is all.

– Not everyone can give useful critique. Are you the one writers want to hear from?

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