Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Kansas / Missouri Critique Groups

Looking for a regularly meeting group – online or off?

There are several groups meeting in Kansas and Missouri for both writers and illustrators: These include networking groups, critique groups, Facebook groups, and others. You can also find online critique group partners by searching or posting on the SCBWI Blueboard Discussion Boards.

Need more help finding a group that fits your needs?
Contact Kat Hart about starting a new critique group. Starting a group is as simple as choosing a location, date and time. It helps to list what sort of work you’d like to focus on within your group. Online critique groups are a great asset and offer more flexibility. If you have other questions, or would like to have your info added to this page, please contact our Critique Coordinator, Kat Hart at

*You don’t have to be a SCBWI member to join a critique group

Current Groups

Chesterfield/Ballwin Writing Critique Group Forming – NEW 

Writers interested in joining a critique group in the Chesterfield/Ballwin area should contact Judy Giblin:

Dates and times are still being determined! Be part of something brand new and meet your new writing partners today!


Beta Readers – NEW 

Do you need a beta reader for your finished novel? Are you interested in becoming a beta reader for other writers? Please contact our Assistant Regional Advisor, Nicki Jacobsmeyer at if you’re interested in being added to this list.

  • Looking for Beta Readers (I’m finished – Please give me feedback): 




New Online Illustrator Critique Group – NEW 

Need an illustrator’s group to call your own? Tired of working all alone with no like minds to cheer you on? Need a deadline to buoy your resolve to better your portfolio, book or freelance piece? If so, come join our Missouri weekly Skype Illustrator’s critique group! We’ll chat and show our stuff live each week.
If interested in joining, please contact Kim Wilson at


Columbia Critique Group – Lakota South off Green Meadows – New Meet Up! 
First Mondays of the Month
6:30-8pm – Please send manuscripts the week before and have them critiqued and ready to discuss at the meetings. Questions for this group can be directed to Juli Rauba.
Contact: Juli Rauba

Lee’s Summit Picture Book Critique Group – New Meet Up! 

Fourth Thursdays of the Month
6:30 PM @ Panera’s on Chipman Rd (in Lee’s Summit)
Contact: Lou Sears                                                                                                                

Critique Meet Up Columbia, MO – NEW
Third Sundays of the Month
2-4pm @ Daniel Boone Library, Conference Room B
Contact: Aaron Fox

Golden Paper Clips
First Saturdays in Leawood, MO
1pm @ Leawood Pioneer Library, Room 108
Contact: Lisa Lorenzetti

Perfect Cloud Illustrators
Monthly Meetups in Kansas City
Contact: Lane Downy

Woodneath Library-Story Center Critique Group-Open to the Public

Check the Woodneath Library Story Center website for dates and information.
PBJ (Picture Book Junkies) – FULL
Second Saturdays, every other month
9 am @ Central Resource Library, Overland Park

Terry Talley’s Group – FULL
Monthly Meetings in Blue Springs, MO

Illustrators Networking on Facebook
Midwest SCBWI Working Illustrators Network
Contact: Amy Kenney

St. Louis City Critique Group
Third Sundays
1:30 @ University City Library
Contact: Jared Kyle Manaczuk

NEW! St. Charles Critique Group NEW!
Second Tuesdays -starts January 9th, 2018
7pm @ The Bread Company, 2709 Zumbehl Road
Contact: Stephanie Bearce

St. Charles Critique Group-FULL
First Wednesdays
7pm @ Barnes and Noble
Contact: Chris Schmidt

St. Charles Critique Group
First Wednesdays
7pm @ Barnes and Noble
Contact: Sue Fritz 

Florissant Critique Group
First Wednesdays
4:30 pm @ Florissant Presbryterian Church
Contact: Sue Bradford Edwards

Creve Coeur Critique Group
Second Tuesdays
6:30 pm @ St. Louis Bread Co.
Contact: Katie Finn Gast

Springfield Writers Workshop Critique Group
6 – 8:30 pm @ Springfield-Greene County Public Library
Contact: Louise A. Jackson

Cape Girardeau Critique Group
Contact: Donna Essner




Beta Readers: 

Illustrators looking for an Online Critique Group:


Illustrators looking for an In-Person Critique Group: 

 Writer-Illustrator looking for an Online Critique Group: 

Writer-Illustrators looking for an In-Person Critique Group: 

NF Writer-Illustrators looking for an Online Critique Group: 

NF Writer-Illustrators looking for an In-Person Critique Group: 

Fiction Writers looking for an Online Critique Group (broken down by PB/MG/YA)

Format: Picture Book 
Format: Middle Grade
Format: YA

Fiction Writers looking for an In-Person Critique Group (broken down by PB/MG/YA and please include your geographic area)
Format: Picture Book
Format: Middle Grade
Format: YA

Non-Fiction Writers looking for an Online Critique Group (broken down by PB/MG/YA)

Format: Non-fiction PB
Format: Non-Fiction Middle Grade
Format: Non-Fiction YA


 NOTE: SCBWI KS-MO doesn’t facilitate or run any of the above critique groups. Instead, we are attempting to provide a clearing house for regional critique groups. If none of these work for you–as can often be the case based on location, etc–consider taking advantage of many of the online critique platforms. While a simple search will provide many results, here is a start for those looking: