Critique Groups

MWA-sponsored critique groups are open to members and non-members alike. The designated contact person must be an MWA member, and group participants are asked to agree to join MWA's extended contact list to receive news about upcoming events of interest. (MWA keeps all contact information strictly confidential and will not spam you.) 

About Critique Groups

Small groups meet regularly to review each others' work and offer constructive feedback. These groups are usually small (six to eight people) and are organized by specialty (such as general fiction, children's literature, or script writing). The times and places of meetings vary and are determined by the members of each critique group.

Many published writers say that critique groups contributed to their success. Critique groups can help you improve your writing, detect weaknesses in plot, structure, or prose, and whip pieces into shape so they catch an editor's interest.

The following is a list of the groups, along with the leaders' e-mail addresses. Since each individual group will meet separately, contact its leader for more information.

Join a Critique Group

Below is a list of MWA-sponsored critique groups throughout Maryland. If groups are open to new members, contact them directly for more information. 

Start a Critique Group

In addition to the groups below, MWA maintains a database of individuals interested in starting or joining a new critique group, and at intervals throughout the year will use this information to help interested writers connect with each other. If you are interested in leading or joining a new critique group, please submit your information through the MWA Critique Group Interest Form.

If you need to make updates to information you have submitted to the Critique Group Interest Database, or to update a group listing below, please contact the MWA critique group coordinator at [email protected]. To add a new MWA-Sponsored critique group listing, please login to the MWA member and submit the group information using this form.


Critique Groups


Novel Manuscript Exchange

  • Genres: Novel-length fiction, all genres
  • Leader: Mark WillenThis is a "virtual" online group for authors seeking to exchange critiques of full-length novel manuscripts. Open to new members.


Anne Arundel County / Annapolis

BayHill Writers

  • Various locations in Calvert & southern Anne Arundel Counties
  • Genres: All genres welcome
  • Leader: Les Dickey
  • Meets 3rd Monday of each month 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. We have been meeting for four years and have a mix of published/unpublished writers. Please contact coordinator Les Dickey for the next location and a copy of the group guidelines.


Scriptwriting Group

  • Genres: Any type of script (stage, screen, graphic novel, etc.)
  • Leader: Scott D. Morrow, [email protected]
  • Meets in Annapolis.
  • Currently not accepting new members. If you are interested in forming a new critique group, please contact Scott.


Waterfront Writers

  • Genres: Fiction only
  • Leader: Sandee Campbell, [email protected]
  • Group exchanges critiques online with monthly meetings in Arnold.
  • Contact Sandee for more details.


Waugh Chapel Writers

  • Genres: Fiction & Drama, all genres welcome
  • Leader: Andrew McDowell, [email protected]
  • Meets monthly in Waugh Chapel
  • Currently closed.


Women Poets Workshop

  • Genre: poetry
  • Leader: Dotty Doherty, [email protected]
  • The Women Poets Workshop, a small group of experienced writers, meets weekly to critique each other’s poetry as well as to support and inspire each other as writers. Meet weekday mornings in Annapolis.
  • Currently closed. Women only.


Baltimore County / Baltimore City

Hampden Writers' Group

  • Genres: Fiction, creative non-fiction, short stories and novels
  • Leader: Chris Kosmides, [email protected]
  • We meet one day a month in Hampden, Baltimore. For the other days, come and join us on Facebook.


Calvert County

BayHill Writers

  • Various locations in Calvert & southern Anne Arundel Counties
  • Genres: All genres welcome
  • Leader: Les Dickey
  • Meets 3rd Monday of each month 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. We have been meeting for four years and have a mix of published/unpublished writers. Please contact coordinator Les Dickey for the next location and a copy of the group guidelines.


Carroll County

The Carroll County Writers' Group

  • Branch Library (varies)
  • Genres: novels and short stories
  • Leader: Mary Stojak
  • Meets the first Saturday of the month. 
  • Accepting new members.


Frederick County

Frederick Writers Salon

  • Genres: Focus on novels, short stories (fiction), and poetry, but will critique any writing a member wishes to present
  • Leader: Dale Grove, Email: [email protected], Phone: 240-313-8860
  • A group of fiction writers from Frederick who want to workshop their writing and learn from each other about the craft. Together, we’ll share our writing, get inspired, and grow as a group. All fiction writers, regardless of experience, are welcome.
  • We meet 2-3 times per month in various locations in downtown Frederick.


Harford County

Harford Writers' Group

  • Contact: Karin Harrison [email protected]
  • Meets on the first Thursday of the Month
  • Time: 6:00-8:00 PM
  • Bel Air Branch, Harford County Public Library, 100 E. Pennsylvania Ave, Bel Air, MD 21014
  • New members welcome.


Howard County / Columbia

MWA Howard County Poetry Critique Group

  • Meets on the First Monday of the Month at the Columbia Central Library
  • Closed. Waiting list.
  • Contact: Patti Ross, [email protected]


MWA Howard County Group #1, Multi-Genre

  • Meets on Alternate Wednesdays at members' homes
  • Currently has openings. 
  • Contact [email protected] to check openings / wait list.

MWA Howard County Group #2, Multi-Genre

  • Meets on the Second Tuesday of the month at members’ homes
  • May have openings
  • Contact [email protected] if interested in joining


MWA Howard County Group #3, Multi-Genre

  • Meets on the Second and fourth Thursdays of the month at Wegmans in Columbia
  • May have openings
  • Contact [email protected] if interested in joining


Columbia Writers


Maryland Dream Weavers

  • Maryland Dream Weavers meets once a month at a member’s house
  • Genre: Primarily Science Fiction and Fantasy
  • Currently has no openings
  • Contact: Amy Kaplan [email protected]


Savage Writer's Circle

  • Savage Branch of the Howard County Library, 9525 Durness Ln, Laurel, MD 20723 (410) 880-5975
  • Genres: Fiction, poetry, short stories, children's literature, historical, non-fiction, etc.
  • Contact: Claire Ferguson at [email protected].
  • Meets on the second Monday of each month, 7:00-9:00 p.m.


Fiction and Screenwriting Critique Group


Montgomery County

Gaithersburg Creative Writers

  • Genre: All, but with an emphasis on short stories
  • Leader: Ken Weiss, [email protected], phone 301-947-8150 
  • This group currently meets on the first and third Tuesdays of each month in the Stone House grill, at 18701 North Frederick Avenue Avenue, from 6:15 unil 7:45 p.m..  There is information on and at
  • There is no ceiling on the number of members, but attendance in meetings is limited to eight persons. 


Rockville Area Critique Group

  • Genre: Mainstream Fiction
  • Leader: Judy Kelly, [email protected] (301) 929-0959
  • The Rockville Writers Group is composed of fiction writers. Even though we identify ourselves as novel writers, members write short stories and nonfiction, as well. We meet the fourth Saturday of each month and in member homes on a rotating basis.
  • The Rockville Writers Group is currently closed to new members. In order to maintain a good balance in the group, we prefer a published or advanced writer who has published something in fiction, or written more than one novel, or written several short stories. At the present time, we are not looking for thriller, mystery, or crime writers. We prefer someone who is writing mainstream fiction (a good character story) or literary fiction.


Tuesday Writers' Group

  • Genre: All
  • Leader: Peggy Bjarno [email protected], (301) 466-3704
  • Tuesday Writers' Group is an experienced group of writers, most published, open to a wide variety of writing genres and styles. We meet at noon on the first and third Tuesday of the month at a member's home in south Rockville. Our meetings last about 2 1/2 hours.  
  • Currently closed to new members.


White Oak Writers (WOW)

  • Meets once a month in members' homes in Montgomery County.
  • Genres: Fiction and nonfiction. We are open to both genre and literary fiction.
  • Contact: Tom Fowler, [email protected]
  • Currently open to one or two new members.


Prince George's County

Prince George’s County Writers Group

  • Forestville, MD
  • Genre: Fiction
  • Leader: Yvonne Brown
  • The Prince George’s County Writers Group consists of experienced Southern county writers who meet monthly on Thursday afternoons to provide supportive critiques and to discuss current trends in the writing/publishing world.  Currently, there are two spaces open to new members.  Interested parties should be working on novel-length fiction. 
  • Please contact coordinator Yvonne Brown for the next location and a copy of the group guidelines at [email protected]


Talbot County

Working Writers' Forum

  • Talbot County, MD
  • Genres: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry
  • Leader: Brent Lewis, [email protected]
  • The Working Writers' Forum is a group of experienced Eastern Shore writers that meets monthly on Tuesday evenings to critique each other's writing and discuss common issues facing writers. Forum critique guidelines assure nonjudgmental, confidential reviews of members' writing with a focus on craft. 
  • Currently closed to new members. If you would like to be added to the waiting list, please write to the email address above.


For group-specific information, contact the critique groups above directly.  To sign up to leader or join a new critique group, please submit your information on the MWA Critique Group Interest Form.  To add your critique group to the above list, to update an existing listing, or for other questions, please contact the MWA critique group coordinator at [email protected].