Happy Anniversary Cupcake Crew!

Coffee, frosting, and snark

Coffee, frosting, and snark. One of the highlights of my week is attending my critique group and talking shop with the Cupcake Crew.

What a year it’s been!

A year ago this week, I was blessed to be invited to start a romance-oriented critique group with a friend who I had met at a previous critique group. She had one other member in mind, and we were able to come up with a bi-monthly time that worked for all three of us.

Within a few months, Amy Raby received her first writing contract, Julie Brannagh had an agent request a full manuscript, and I had my first publication accepted with a small e-publisher (Lyrical Press, Inc.). Now, a year later, Amy and I are working hard on our edits and Julie is celebrating finalizing a contract with her first literary agent! I think it’s safe to say we have had some good fortune as a critique group.

But just as important as the success we’ve shared this year is the camaraderie, friendship, and support of meeting regularly with others who share our interests. Though the three of us are in different life stages and have differing outlooks, we share a passion for story that unites us.

Within six months or so, we were meeting weekly, doing critique every other meeting and using the other for support, discussing books and craft, chatting about the publishing industry, and just catching up on life. I am so thankful for Amy and Julie and am so happy to be celebrating a year of coffee, frosting, and snark as well as a year of writing success.

I would be remiss if I took this post to celebrate a year of critique and forgot to mention my dear friend and critique partner, Laura Lee Nutt. Laura and I met in an on-line writing workshop and hit it off with similar writing interests. We’ve been trading critiques and parenting adivce for more than two years, and I wouldn’t be where I am writing-wise without her support and friendship. Laura has also gotten her first writing contract this year (also with Lyrical). So, when I celebrate a year of writing success, I’m thinking of her too!

Do you have a critique group? Do you meet in person or online? How long have you been meeting? What are some of the traditions you’ve developed as you do the writing thing together?

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About Jessi Gage

Jessi lives with her husband and children in the Seattle area. She’s a passionate reader of all genres of romance, especially anything involving the paranormal. Ghosts, demons, vampires, witches, weres, faeries...you name it, she’ll read it. As for writing, she's sticking to Highlanders and contemporaries with a paranormal twist (for now). A career student (aka indecisive and inquisitive bookworm), Jessi brings her love of research to her worlds and characters. Her guiding tenet in her writing is that good always trumps evil, but not before evil gives good one heck of a run for its money. The last time she imagined a world without romance novels, her husband found her crouched in the corner, rocking.
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One Response to Happy Anniversary Cupcake Crew!

  1. Mae Clair says:

    Congrats to all of you, Jessi. This is a wonderful post and you are so fortunate to have a local support group to interact with. I used to be very active in local writing groups but, sadly, most disbanded or the members lost interest. I have reached out to several writers I know locally but there is no interst in connecting (too busy or the wrong time in their writing pursuits).

    I had a wonderful on-line critique partner who I worked with for 12 years then, sadly, she passed away of cancer two years ago. I have just begun working with someone else I formed an online friendship with, and I’m excited to have that connection again. It’s a wonderful feeling. And I’ve made several writer friends online who I talk with regularly.

    Loved this post!

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