Guest Blogger, Tiffany White: How to find Beta Readers & Critique Partners
In the land of writing, it is so important to have your work read by others so you can get feedback and improve. And no, I’m not talking about asking your husband or your mom or your best friend to read your manuscript. They can absolutely read what you’ve written, but you’re going to need to take their feedback with a grain of salt.
What I’m talking about is getting your work read by other writers and readers who can give you high-level feedback. The only way to improve with your writing is to put your work out there and open yourself up to being critiqued.
But where do you find these elusive people (they’re not really elusive, I promise!)? Well, it’s a lot easier than you think.
There are a ton of writing groups on Facebook. There are groups for writers in general, groups for fantasy and sci-fi authors, groups for romance writers, and so many more. Join these groups and start interacting. Post questions, respond to other authors questions, participate in the games (if there are any), join in on the chats. In essence, start building a community. Once you’re a little more established, pitch your story and see if anyone would be interested in doing a swap. I say this because it’s important that you be a good literary citizen. If you’re not willing to beta read for others, why should they be willing to read for you? Below are a few (but certainly not all) groups you might be interested in joining on Facebook.
-Fantasy Authors Unite
-Author Like a Boss
-Fantasy Writers Support Group
And there are so many more!
I’m going to be honest, here. Twitter is my jam, so I’m a little biased when I say that I think Twitter is the best place to find a community of writers to fit into. I do have to warn you, it’s a black rabbit hole that you’ll fall down and probably won’t be able to claw your way out of.
But it’s great, and I totally recommend it! I got my start on Twitter and started following other writers and participating in daily hashtag games. Then, I started commenting on other people’s posts, complimenting them on lines they posted or aesthetics that were beautiful. Soon, I started participating in chats. And before I knew it, I’d found my home—along with countless beta readers and CPs. The Twitter writing community is so welcoming and wonderful. It’s basically my happy place (P.S., feel free to follow me @tkwhiteauthor and @writersuntapped). There are a ton of hashtag games and chats on Twitter, and it’s impossible to list them all, but I recommend following @writeevent
Everyday, she tweets out the daily hashtag games and chats. It’s super easy to keep track of it all by following that account. Below, I’ll list a few of my personal favorites:
#chance2connect (if you’re looking for a CP or beta reader, this chat is a MUST)
If you just want to tweet about writing in general but aren’t interested in the hashtag games or chats, here are a few popular hashtags you can use to get more traction on your tweets:
So the moral of the story is: start participating in game and chats, start commenting on people’s tweets, and start interacting! You’ll be surprised how quickly you find yourself immersed in the community.
If Twitter is too fast-paced and overwhelming for you, hop on over to Instagram. Share pretty photos of the books you read, of your writing atmosphere, and of aesthetics you make. Instagram has another big writing community, and I’ve had a lot of success finding beta readers and CPs from it. Like Facebook and Twitter, it’s all about connecting. Comment on people’s posts, share genuine pictures and snapshots of your writing life, and before you know it, you’ll have another community of writers to turn to. Instagram is great if you’re good with the camera. Disclaimer: I’m not. But I still manage to make Instagram work for me.
Local Writing Groups
Last might be the most obvious choice. Find a local writing group! Contact your libraries and get on meetup to see what’s happening locally. You can also use Facebook to search for your city name + writing group and see if anything comes up. And of course, there’s always an old-fashioned Google search.
There are so many other platforms I didn’t list like Wattpad and Reddit Writers Group and Scribofile. It’s important to do your research and find what works for you. I love Twitter, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to love it. You also don’t need to do it all. One is plenty to start with, and once you’re comfortable, you can dive into the other social medias. At the end of the day, it’s really about having fun and meeting new people. If you’re no longer having fun, it might be time to take a break. But if you do choose to engage in one of these platforms, you will be surprised how quickly you find a community of writers who can help you learn and improve your writing.
Thanks Tiffany White for the great leads!