The GOLD Sheet

by Elizabeth Rusch
Published on: April 20, 2013
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Comments: 2 Comments

As faculty for the SCBWI-OR conference in May, I offered to critique manuscripts. When I opened my packet of manuscripts I found something VERY interesting inside: THE SCBWI Gold Form. It is one sheet of paper with a series of headings to help guide faculty in making their notes for critiques. I found that it very closely captures what I often cover in a critique (and what the Scrivas often cover, as well).

SCBWI-OR generously granted permission to reprint it, so here it is:

Gold sheetI love that it starts with “Positive aspects of the work.” I always do this and I think every critique should. How else will a writer know what is working, or what the strengths are to build on? The second item: “The elements that require attention and improvement.” When I (and the Scrivas) do critiques, we always highlight the biggest issues that we have identified in a manuscript.  While I don’t always cover all four of the next items (“Notes on Character Development, Notes on Plot/Structure, Notes on Voice, and Notes on Marketability”), they are important for a critiquer to consider while reviewing a manuscript. (These items will often fall under “the elements that require attention” part of my critique, which is the biggest part of my critiques.)

I would add one category to the Gold Form: Helpful Resources. I will often highlight books, website, and exercises that might be helpful to the writer. And some of the best guidance Scrivas have given are suggestions of similar titles to read.

But all in all, I think the Gold Form is an excellent guide for critiquing. If you struggle with critique or want to encourage your group to give better critiques, this is a great form to follow.

Thanks to SCBWI-OR for sharing it! (SCBWI stands for the Society of Book Writers and Illustrators. You can find the national organization at www.scbwi.org. The Oregon chapter website is: http://www.scbwior.com/)

Happy critiquing!

Elizabeth Rusch

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  1. ScrivaLiz says:

    There’s also an SCBWI Gold Sheet specifically nonfiction. You’ll find it here:

    http://www.scbwi.org/Resources/Documents/%5b882%5dNonfiction%20Critique%20Gold%20Form.pdf

  2. […] – Keep the constructive critiques moving along, keeping the SCBWI Gold Form questions in […]

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