Episode 096 – Elizabeth M Thompson is an author who started Inspire Writers and is an expert on critique groups for writers.

Show Overview

  • Elizabeth M Thompson shares from her years of experience of forming and guiding critique groups. As the founder of Inspire Writers in Northern California, she developed a community of writers who supported each other. Inspire offers critique groups, workshops, conferences, a newsletter and website, and a publishing arm. In this interview, Elizabeth talks about starting her first critique group, starting Inspire Writers, setting group guidelines, group size and meeting times and frequency, and the value of having your writing critiqued. We also talk about in-person and online groups, reading your work, who can be in the group, who is in charge, the length of what can be submitted, and more. In the second part of the interview, we talk about Elizabeth’s writing, her best advice, favorite writing book, and being successful as a writer.


  • Nonfiction and fiction

A Thought on Critique Groups

  • Writers sharpen writers and we need each other. When we are looking at out own work, we read what we meant to say, not alway what we put on the page. So when someone else is looking at it they can come back and comment on what they read. We need that feedback to make sure the message we want to put on the page is in fact the message that is getting on the page.

My Writing Motivation

  • Writing my novel is really fun. When I write about prayer, I see a long term bigger ministry.

The Most Important Thing I Learned About Writing

  • Just keep writing.

My Most Difficult Writing Challenge

  • Some days it’s a challenge just getting started. Some day’s writing is hard but I still do it. I’d probably say distractions are my most difficult challenge.

The Best Advice on Writing I Ever Received

  • Know the rules and know when it makes sense to break them.

My Best Advice for Struggling Writers

  • Connect with other writers for support, especially with a good critique group. Having a mentor is really good too.
Connect with other writers for support, especially with a good critique group. @BethThompson Click To Tweet

What Writing Success Means to Me

  • It’s using the gifts God gave me to present the message God gave me. It’s getting my books and writing into the hands of people where ministry can happen.

Get Elizabeth’s Free Handout about Writing With Friends

My Favorite Books on Writing

How To Find Me

From My Perspective

  • In the show’s From My Perspective segment, I talk about building community as writers and the value of critique groups, with an excerpt from Elizabeth’s interview.

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