We've talked about whether you want to join a critique group or not, but if you decide you want to, what is the next step to take?
The biggest, most obvious, step to take is to google "writers critique groups." You get a whole bunch of really good links that can open the world of critiquing to you. Harold Underdown's site is a great place to start. He has all sorts of information about critique groups.
For those who are interested in a serious critique group for writers of science fiction, fantasy and horror, click here. Writing World has a lot of informational postings about critique groups and how to join one. If you are wanting a critique group that is group oriented, i.e. Christian writers, be sure and google that specifically.
A second step might be to check out yahoo groups by going to yahoo and typing in your search criteria. That is also the same for the ever-more-popular ning groups. The Muse It Up Club, a series of yahoo groups, is hosted by Lea Schizas, and has a variety of groups from picture books to nonfiction to horror. Contact her at Lea Schizas, museitupeditor at yahoo dot ca
Most of these are online critique groups. Take this third step if you're wanting a face-to-face critique groups. You still have a lot of options, but may have to search more for them. For example, SCBWI has critique groups listed, and show which ones are filled, and which ones are looking for more members. Be sure that when you google for SCBWI that you include your state in the search so that you'll pull up information for your area.
Sisters in Crime groups are scattered throughout the United States, and you can find a local one by googling their name, or going to their website here.
If you're really at a loss of where to look for an area group, contact your local library or bookstore. Often times writers groups will meet at those locations. Your local newspaper may also have a critique group meeting listed in their calendar or events section.
If you cannot find a face-to-face group, you may want to consider starting a group. Check my site on Monday for a blog about how to start your own face-to-face critique group.