What we're about

J.R.R. Tolkien wrote, "We create worlds and tell stories because God has done the same." Many of Jesus's best-known statements arose from fictional stories he told. Part of our identity as image-bearers is being "sub-creators" with him. And through the stories we tell, God shines the light of moral imagination.

If you are a fiction writer working on your first or next novel, this group is for you. Whatever genre you're writing, whichever audience it's for, and whether or not you are published, you are welcome here. This group exists to encourage and empower you to take the next step in your writing journey.

Whether you write for the CBA or ABA (Christian market or general market), come join us. We are primarily a group of fiction writers but non-fiction writers are welcome. And while we are a faith-based group, anyone may attend.

Meetings will vary between different formats:

• Critique

• Guest Speaker

• Workshop

• Focused Writing

Above all, we want this to be a comfortable place for you to connect with other writers in the Austin area, improve your craft, add more words to your manuscript, and be encouraged. Writing a novel is an adventure as well as a long road, so don't travel alone! "A cord of three strands is not easily broken" (Ecclesiastes 4:12).

*** Critique Group Best Practices ***

PURPOSE: We receive critique to make our writing better, not to simply feel better about it. Be prepared to have many things pointed out to you that need improvement. At first, this may be uncomfortable, even upsetting. That's ok. We all want readers who love our writing. Remember, this group exists to encourage you, the writer, and to help you improve your writing. "Wounds from a friend can be trusted" (Proverbs 27:6).

ROTATION: During the second hour, we go through submissions one at a time, and readers will share their critique one at a time, starting clockwise from the writer. For the sake of time, try to limit cross-talk with other readers.

READERS: Be honest but kind. Critique the work, not the person. Try to focus on the problems you see, rather than your own solutions. Be specific. Describe your reactions to the story. Highlight the good as well as the bad, so the writer will know the strong parts to build on. If others share before you, stick to the unique points of your feedback. Focus on the big things and the type of feedback the writer requested. Thank the writer for trusting you.

WRITERS: No talking until everyone has given critique. This is hard! Don’t debate the reader, only seek to understand them. Take notes while they talk, if you wish. When every reader has shared, you will have a few minutes to ask questions. Remember, you can take or leave anyone’s feedback. But you won't be able to explain your choices to normal readers. So try to get to the bottom of whatever needs improvement. Thank everyone for helping you.

CONTENT: You may find yourself reading content that you are not comfortable with. Maybe the genre is one that you do not normally read. Perhaps the content is beyond the “MPAA rating” that you enjoy. Or it could be that you are not representative of the target audience of the story. If you find yourself in one of these situations, it’s ok to communicate this to the writer, but don’t judge the story itself on it not being a good fit for you, personally.

THEOLOGY: Our group represents a wide variety of denominational convictions and approaches to incorporating our faith in our work. Let’s leave theological debate to another time and place, and trust each other in our different strategies to portray the faith. However, if you want critique on how well you have addressed a spiritual topic in your writing, feel free to ask for feedback on that.

EVERYONE: Keep in mind that it can be scary both to be critiqued and to give critique. Grace is our most important ally. Believe the best. Speak "only what is good for building up someone in need." (Ephesians‬ ‭4:29)

Upcoming events (4+)

Writers Meet Up

Emerald Tavern Games and Cafe

Come join us for a meetup of Austin Christian Fiction Writers!

Want a book? Write it. Want a good book? Edit it. Want a great book? Let others read and critique it.

Bring 2-3 printed copies of one submission: maximum of 3,000 words / 10 pages double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman. It can be a standalone piece or part of a larger story. Alternatively, we have a secure Google Drive folder where you can upload your work, and members can offer digital comments.

Write your name and title/chapter of the piece on the first page. Also write (or share) your genre and your best-guess "MPAA rating." Tell the group what you need critique on. Overall feel? Character / plot? Pacing? Grammar / punctuation / spelling? Sentence structure? All of the above?

For the first hour, we will silently read and offer written (or digital) critique on the submissions. During the second hour, we'll go through each submission, one at a time. Readers will share their feedback with the writer. We'll go over some best practices for this, which are copied below.

––––––––––––

*** Critique Group Best Practices ***

PURPOSE: We receive critique to make our writing better, not to simply feel better about it. Be prepared to have many things pointed out to you that need improvement. At first, this may be uncomfortable, even upsetting. That's ok. We all want readers who love our writing. Remember, this group exists to encourage you, the writer, and to help you improve your writing. "Wounds from a friend can be trusted" (Proverbs 27:6).

ROTATION: During the second hour, we go through submissions one at a time, and readers will share their critique one at a time, starting clockwise from the writer. For the sake of time, try to limit cross-talk with other readers.

READERS: Be honest but kind. Critique the work, not the person. Try to focus on the problems you see, rather than your own solutions. Be specific. Describe your reactions to the story. Highlight the good as well as the bad, so the writer will know the strong parts to build on. If others share before you, stick to the unique points of your feedback. Focus on the big things and the type of feedback the writer requested. Thank the writer for trusting you.

WRITERS: No talking until everyone has given critique. This is hard! Don’t debate the reader, only seek to understand them. Take notes while they talk, if you wish. When every reader has shared, you will have a few minutes to ask questions. Remember, you can take or leave anyone’s feedback. But you won't be able to explain your choices to normal readers. So try to get to the bottom of whatever needs improvement. Thank everyone for helping you.

CONTENT: You may find yourself reading content that you are not comfortable with. Maybe the genre is one that you do not normally read. Perhaps the content is beyond the “MPAA rating” that you enjoy. Or it could be that you are not representative of the target audience of the story. If you find yourself in one of these situations, it’s ok to communicate this to the writer, but don’t judge the story itself on it not being a good fit for you, personally.

THEOLOGY: Our group represents a wide variety of denominational convictions and approaches to incorporating our faith in our work. Let’s leave theological debate to another time and place, and trust each other in our different strategies to portray the faith. However, if you want critique on how well you have addressed a spiritual topic in your writing, feel free to ask for feedback on that.

EVERYONE: Keep in mind that it can be scary both to be critiqued and to give critique. Grace is our most important ally. Believe the best. Speak "only what is good for building up someone in need." (Ephesians‬ ‭4:29)

Contact: Elisabeth Wheatley

Writers Meet Up

Emerald Tavern Games and Cafe

Come join us for a meetup of Austin Christian Fiction Writers!

Want a book? Write it. Want a good book? Edit it. Want a great book? Let others read and critique it.

Bring 2-3 printed copies of one submission: maximum of 3,000 words / 10 pages double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman. It can be a standalone piece or part of a larger story. Alternatively, we have a secure Google Drive folder where you can upload your work, and members can offer digital comments.

Write your name and title/chapter of the piece on the first page. Also write (or share) your genre and your best-guess "MPAA rating." Tell the group what you need critique on. Overall feel? Character / plot? Pacing? Grammar / punctuation / spelling? Sentence structure? All of the above?

For the first hour, we will silently read and offer written (or digital) critique on the submissions. During the second hour, we'll go through each submission, one at a time. Readers will share their feedback with the writer. We'll go over some best practices for this, which are copied below.

––––––––––––

*** Critique Group Best Practices ***

PURPOSE: We receive critique to make our writing better, not to simply feel better about it. Be prepared to have many things pointed out to you that need improvement. At first, this may be uncomfortable, even upsetting. That's ok. We all want readers who love our writing. Remember, this group exists to encourage you, the writer, and to help you improve your writing. "Wounds from a friend can be trusted" (Proverbs 27:6).

ROTATION: During the second hour, we go through submissions one at a time, and readers will share their critique one at a time, starting clockwise from the writer. For the sake of time, try to limit cross-talk with other readers.

READERS: Be honest but kind. Critique the work, not the person. Try to focus on the problems you see, rather than your own solutions. Be specific. Describe your reactions to the story. Highlight the good as well as the bad, so the writer will know the strong parts to build on. If others share before you, stick to the unique points of your feedback. Focus on the big things and the type of feedback the writer requested. Thank the writer for trusting you.

WRITERS: No talking until everyone has given critique. This is hard! Don’t debate the reader, only seek to understand them. Take notes while they talk, if you wish. When every reader has shared, you will have a few minutes to ask questions. Remember, you can take or leave anyone’s feedback. But you won't be able to explain your choices to normal readers. So try to get to the bottom of whatever needs improvement. Thank everyone for helping you.

CONTENT: You may find yourself reading content that you are not comfortable with. Maybe the genre is one that you do not normally read. Perhaps the content is beyond the “MPAA rating” that you enjoy. Or it could be that you are not representative of the target audience of the story. If you find yourself in one of these situations, it’s ok to communicate this to the writer, but don’t judge the story itself on it not being a good fit for you, personally.

THEOLOGY: Our group represents a wide variety of denominational convictions and approaches to incorporating our faith in our work. Let’s leave theological debate to another time and place, and trust each other in our different strategies to portray the faith. However, if you want critique on how well you have addressed a spiritual topic in your writing, feel free to ask for feedback on that.

EVERYONE: Keep in mind that it can be scary both to be critiqued and to give critique. Grace is our most important ally. Believe the best. Speak "only what is good for building up someone in need." (Ephesians‬ ‭4:29)

Contact: Elisabeth Wheatley

Writers Meet Up

Emerald Tavern Games and Cafe

Come join us for a meetup of Austin Christian Fiction Writers!

Want a book? Write it. Want a good book? Edit it. Want a great book? Let others read and critique it.

Bring 2-3 printed copies of one submission: maximum of 3,000 words / 10 pages double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman. It can be a standalone piece or part of a larger story. Alternatively, we have a secure Google Drive folder where you can upload your work, and members can offer digital comments.

Write your name and title/chapter of the piece on the first page. Also write (or share) your genre and your best-guess "MPAA rating." Tell the group what you need critique on. Overall feel? Character / plot? Pacing? Grammar / punctuation / spelling? Sentence structure? All of the above?

For the first hour, we will silently read and offer written (or digital) critique on the submissions. During the second hour, we'll go through each submission, one at a time. Readers will share their feedback with the writer. We'll go over some best practices for this, which are copied below.

––––––––––––

*** Critique Group Best Practices ***

PURPOSE: We receive critique to make our writing better, not to simply feel better about it. Be prepared to have many things pointed out to you that need improvement. At first, this may be uncomfortable, even upsetting. That's ok. We all want readers who love our writing. Remember, this group exists to encourage you, the writer, and to help you improve your writing. "Wounds from a friend can be trusted" (Proverbs 27:6).

ROTATION: During the second hour, we go through submissions one at a time, and readers will share their critique one at a time, starting clockwise from the writer. For the sake of time, try to limit cross-talk with other readers.

READERS: Be honest but kind. Critique the work, not the person. Try to focus on the problems you see, rather than your own solutions. Be specific. Describe your reactions to the story. Highlight the good as well as the bad, so the writer will know the strong parts to build on. If others share before you, stick to the unique points of your feedback. Focus on the big things and the type of feedback the writer requested. Thank the writer for trusting you.

WRITERS: No talking until everyone has given critique. This is hard! Don’t debate the reader, only seek to understand them. Take notes while they talk, if you wish. When every reader has shared, you will have a few minutes to ask questions. Remember, you can take or leave anyone’s feedback. But you won't be able to explain your choices to normal readers. So try to get to the bottom of whatever needs improvement. Thank everyone for helping you.

CONTENT: You may find yourself reading content that you are not comfortable with. Maybe the genre is one that you do not normally read. Perhaps the content is beyond the “MPAA rating” that you enjoy. Or it could be that you are not representative of the target audience of the story. If you find yourself in one of these situations, it’s ok to communicate this to the writer, but don’t judge the story itself on it not being a good fit for you, personally.

THEOLOGY: Our group represents a wide variety of denominational convictions and approaches to incorporating our faith in our work. Let’s leave theological debate to another time and place, and trust each other in our different strategies to portray the faith. However, if you want critique on how well you have addressed a spiritual topic in your writing, feel free to ask for feedback on that.

EVERYONE: Keep in mind that it can be scary both to be critiqued and to give critique. Grace is our most important ally. Believe the best. Speak "only what is good for building up someone in need." (Ephesians‬ ‭4:29)

Contact: Elisabeth Wheatley

Writers Meet Up

Emerald Tavern Games and Cafe

Come join us for a meetup of Austin Christian Fiction Writers!

Want a book? Write it. Want a good book? Edit it. Want a great book? Let others read and critique it.

Bring 2-3 printed copies of one submission: maximum of 3,000 words / 10 pages double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman. It can be a standalone piece or part of a larger story. Alternatively, we have a secure Google Drive folder where you can upload your work, and members can offer digital comments.

Write your name and title/chapter of the piece on the first page. Also write (or share) your genre and your best-guess "MPAA rating." Tell the group what you need critique on. Overall feel? Character / plot? Pacing? Grammar / punctuation / spelling? Sentence structure? All of the above?

For the first hour, we will silently read and offer written (or digital) critique on the submissions. During the second hour, we'll go through each submission, one at a time. Readers will share their feedback with the writer. We'll go over some best practices for this, which are copied below.

––––––––––––

*** Critique Group Best Practices ***

PURPOSE: We receive critique to make our writing better, not to simply feel better about it. Be prepared to have many things pointed out to you that need improvement. At first, this may be uncomfortable, even upsetting. That's ok. We all want readers who love our writing. Remember, this group exists to encourage you, the writer, and to help you improve your writing. "Wounds from a friend can be trusted" (Proverbs 27:6).

ROTATION: During the second hour, we go through submissions one at a time, and readers will share their critique one at a time, starting clockwise from the writer. For the sake of time, try to limit cross-talk with other readers.

READERS: Be honest but kind. Critique the work, not the person. Try to focus on the problems you see, rather than your own solutions. Be specific. Describe your reactions to the story. Highlight the good as well as the bad, so the writer will know the strong parts to build on. If others share before you, stick to the unique points of your feedback. Focus on the big things and the type of feedback the writer requested. Thank the writer for trusting you.

WRITERS: No talking until everyone has given critique. This is hard! Don’t debate the reader, only seek to understand them. Take notes while they talk, if you wish. When every reader has shared, you will have a few minutes to ask questions. Remember, you can take or leave anyone’s feedback. But you won't be able to explain your choices to normal readers. So try to get to the bottom of whatever needs improvement. Thank everyone for helping you.

CONTENT: You may find yourself reading content that you are not comfortable with. Maybe the genre is one that you do not normally read. Perhaps the content is beyond the “MPAA rating” that you enjoy. Or it could be that you are not representative of the target audience of the story. If you find yourself in one of these situations, it’s ok to communicate this to the writer, but don’t judge the story itself on it not being a good fit for you, personally.

THEOLOGY: Our group represents a wide variety of denominational convictions and approaches to incorporating our faith in our work. Let’s leave theological debate to another time and place, and trust each other in our different strategies to portray the faith. However, if you want critique on how well you have addressed a spiritual topic in your writing, feel free to ask for feedback on that.

EVERYONE: Keep in mind that it can be scary both to be critiqued and to give critique. Grace is our most important ally. Believe the best. Speak "only what is good for building up someone in need." (Ephesians‬ ‭4:29)

Contact: Elisabeth Wheatley

Past events (57)

Writers Meet Up

Emerald Tavern Games and Cafe

Photos (27)