I don't technically have a critique group. I don't meet with other writers on a regular basis, and the only person who sees my chapters as they come out is my wife. Part of that is there just aren't a lot of sci-fi/fantasy writers in Chiang Mai (though admittedly I haven't looked very hard, what with my abject terror of new things).
So I don't have a group, per se, but I do have critique partners -- those hardened souls committed to reading through the garbage I send them. I collect them the way other people collect Pokemon (though my crit partners complain a lot more when I try to stick them in those little balls).
Whenever people ask how to find good crit partners, I want to make a chart. Actually, that's misleading: I always want to make a chart.
Blogging: Either they found my blog or I found theirs. We commented. We discovered common interests. Then one day, one of us tweeted or e-mailed The Question, and a crit partner relationship was formed.
Real Life: I hope this is self-explanatory.
Twitter: Similar to blogging, except I either never knew this person had a blog or I didn't follow it until later.
Through Agent: Not a road everyone can take, but I have recently collected crit partners because we share representation.
Critters.org: A great site if you want to exercise your critting muscles. And every once in a while, a stronger relationship is formed.
Conclusions? Well, blogging and reading blogs has been ridiculously profitable for me in terms of crit partners, but it's not the only road. And it's certainly not the fastest (I've been blogging for 4 years now).
If you're curious what my crit partners look like as writers, well . . . I made that chart too:
What's interesting to me is that, when we met each other, most of my crit partners were at the same spot as I was, and none of them were published. But 4 years later, I now have Real Live Published Authors who will happily read my stuff. That's kind of crazy to me, but I guess this is how it happens -- not by approaching the unapproachable, but by forming long-term relationships and sticking with them.
Where do you find your crit partners? Have any advice for people who have none?