So, I've been surfing blogs of authors I like, those who have had success, even if moderate or on a regional level, and one thing that is a constant theme through all is the benefit received from their critique group, their 'Alpha readers'.
Which begs the question, exactly how/where does one find a critique group? I've of course got some close friends/family members who I plan to bounce things off of when I'm done, a combination of siblings, in laws, and my wife of course.. but outside of that, where does one find others who are similarly committed to writing to the level it takes to write a few thousand words or so?
I know that writing conferences offer that opportunity, or at least I've read on other blogs how they do.. but I've been to a couple and have never really seen anything that screamed out to me, "LOOKING FOR CRITIQUE BUDDIES".. although it's probably not that obvious.
I'm currently signed up for the 2012 Life, the Universe, and Everything in Provo in early February, and I'd like to use that opportunity to find some alpha readers, if such is possible.. but I'm completely in the dark as to how to bring that about.
Are there any learned souls out there with experience and/or suggestions for a clueless wannabe writer?