What is a critique group and what do they critique? Many new or aspiring writers are wary of the title, as they fear someone is going to tear into their “word child” and find all the things wrong with the story. This has been the experience of some. In the San Diego Christian Writer’s Guild, we have these guidelines: Share what you liked about the submission first; if you have a negative response to the submission, share some constructive ways that might help the writer to improve; remember, your comments can send the writer back to the drawing board with new enthusiasm or cause them to toss their work in the circular file. Most of all, remember, our goal is to encourage new writers not discourage them.  Years ago when I was first starting out, since I was a Christian, I thought I had to write “Christian” stories.  Our founder, Dr. Sherwood Wirt, known as “Woody” said, “The world doesn’t need more Christian writers, it needs more Christians who write.” It took me a while to understand what he was saying. One of my most ardent critics who didn’t seem to have anything good to say each month, finally said,” Diana, what is your voice?  What do you know? Write about that.”  I thought about that and came back with a humorous piece about the lizards my oldest son was constantly capturing in the garden. He loved it! “That’s your voice!” he cried. I nearly floated out the door that day. Encouragement is everything.