For my birthday the past several years I’ve tried to do a bit of a giveback to the writing community–meaning I harangue my author friends to help me give away a bunch of queries. This year, the birthday is bigger (*gulp* no specifics, but the number might be in the title!) and so I thought the giveaway should be bigger as well. So, I hit up EVERYONE!!! And my always generous friends and community members have agreed to help out in offering a number of critiques–some of which are critiques of the first 50 pages of your manuscript. My goal was to be able to give away 50 critiques, but sadly I could only wrangle 35 (there’s also a simultaneous book giveaway going on for readers–my friends truly rock!). **UPDATE–Ellie S. Verhalen has kindly offered more query critiques and we are up to 50!!!!!**
**UPDATE #2 – Leira Lewis has kindly offered additional critiques which brings the giveaway up to 55!!.**
Below are a list of the generous authors who have donated a free critique and the details of what genres they’re interested in critiquing. I’m including a brief bio for each as well as social media links (please show them some love and give them a follow).
THIS IS WHAT YOU SHOULD PAY ATTENTION TO
THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT: To be considered for the critique giveaway
1) Review the participants and their preferred genres.
2) In the comment section below comment on which person you think is the best choice to critique your manuscript (this does NOT guarantee you’ll be paired with that person) and post a Twitter-style pitch for your manuscript.
3) Again it’s not required, but follow some of these amazing people on their social media links, and
4) It’s not required, but you can follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and/or like my Facebook page. Or just come taunt me about my newly acquired age. (But really–it’s my birthday, I’ll take chocolate, wine or follows)
5) I will post winners on my birthday– August 18!!!
THE BIG 50 CRITIQUE CREW
Rebecca is the author of the Metamorphosis series: Butterfly Bones (Book 1), Butterfly Blood (Book 2), and the upcoming Butterfly Broken (Book 3- coming 9/1/2020). She is also an editor. You can find her on Facebook, Instagram, or on Goodreads.
CRITIQUE SPECIFICS: Rebecca is giving away two 50-page critiques of any genre, but requests no erotica, please.
James L. Weaver
James L Weaver is the Kansas City author of the Jake Caldwell series from Lakewater Press featuring:• Poor Boy Road (Jake Caldwell Book #1) – IAN Thriller of the Year finalist,• Ares Road (Jake Caldwell Book #2) – New Apple Official Selection for Thrillers and IAN Thriller of the Year finalist• Blackbird Road (Jake Caldwell Book #3) – Solo Medalist Winner for the New Apple Book Awards Suspense/Thriller category• Asylum Road (Jake Caldwell Book #4), and Husker Road (Jake Caldwell Book #5) – COMING AUGUST 12. James makes his home in Olathe, Kansas with his wife and two children. His previous publishing credits include his 5-star rated debut novel Jack & Diane, which is available on Amazon.com. His limited free time is spent writing into the wee hours of the morning, working out, golfing, running, and binge-watching Netflix, Amazon Prime or Hulu – he’s not picky.You can find out more about him on his blog and follow him on Twitter.
CRITIQUE SPECIFICS: James will do one 50-page query, and is open to anything other than YA or fantasy.
Courtney Lynn Rose
Courtney is an editor and author of several steamy romances including the Emerald Isle MC series: Shamrock (Book 1), Dire (Book 2), and Timber (Book 3). You can find Courtney on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
CRITIQUE SPECIFICS: Courtney will offer one 50-page critique. She said she’s “down for whatever” as far as genres go, but she specializes in romance including all subgenres (fantasy, YA, etc).
Eden is an American author of erotic queer romance with swoon worthy heroes and happy ever afters. A hot yoga junkie, she often gets some of her best ideas while in a difficult pose. Born and raised in Northern California, Eden currently resides in the quirky Pacific Northwest with her amazing spouse and five…yes, five, fur-babies. She is the author of Red and the upcoming Tahoe Blue. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads.
CRITIQUE SPECIFICS: Eden will do one 50-page query of an erotic novel with an LGBTQ relationship or or author.
Laurie Bell is a once upon a time former teacher who has worked with children of all ages in the literary sphere. She is now an administrator and is the one to go to with any question. She is has three books published The Butterfly Stone and The Tiger’s Eye (YA Fantasy) from The Stones of Power Series and White Fire (SF) and is regularly featured by publications such as the Antipodean Science Fiction E-Magazine.A lover of fantasy and science fiction of all kinds, she is also a volunteer at her local theatre company and is often found in coffee shops or on trains writing madly in one of many notebooks. Oh and she loves chocolate and coffee! Laurie maintains an active blog of science fiction, fantasy, and flash fiction pieces. Discover more about Laurie Bell on her website.
CRITIQUE SPECIFICS: Laurie is offering a 50-page critique of an MG, YA or adult novel. She prefers to critique anything in the fantasy and scifi genres.
Gurpreet is an author, editor and blogger. She is the author of Helping Henry Home, and her work was included in the anthology The Little Book of Fairy Tales (Dancing Bear Books, 2019) You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, and on her website.
CRITIQUE SPECIFICS: Gurpreet will critique the first 50 pages of your novel.
Tamara is the author of several young adult novels including her recent Twisted Ever After series: The Witch’s Tower (Book 1) and The Dragon Swan Princess (Book 2). You can find her on her Amazon author page and on Facebook.
CRITIQUE SPECIFICS: Tamara will critique the first 50 pages of your novel, though she prefers to not critique erotica.
Sherry D. Ficklin
Sherry is the author of over a dozen novels including the bestselling Stolen Empire saga. She works as an acquisitions editor at Bleeding Ink Publishing and teaches writing and marketing classes at several annual conventions. She’s been working in publishing for more than a decade for houses both large and independent. You can find her on Instagram, Facebook, and on her website.
CRITIQUE SPECIFICS: Sherry has kindly agreed to do one 50-page critique.
Kelly is an editor and author of several young adult novels including the Never Forgotten series: Never Forgotten (Book 1), Current Impressions (Book 2), Always Remembered (Book 3), and Sea of Memories (Book 4). You can find her on Instagram, Facebook, and her webite.
CRITIQUE DETAILS: Kelly will do a 50-page critique. She prefers YA, fantasy or scifi. She really doesn’t enjoy nonfiction.
In addition to being a scholar and educator, Deborah is the author of Within and Without, a YA novel that beautifully details the struggles of an adolescence complicated by body dysmorphia. You can find Deborah on Twitter and Facebook.
CRITIQUE DETAILS: Deborah will do one 50-page critique, she has no preferences to genres.
Wendi is the award-winning author of several picture books including the very popular Turkey series: Turkey Trouble, Turkey’s Eggcellent Easter, Turkey Trick or Treat, and Turkey Clause (One of the “Ten Best Picture Books of 2012”). She’s also the author of several early readers, numerous magazine stories, and a variety of educational materials. You can find more information about Wendi and her books on her website and on Facebook.
CRITIQUE DETAILS: Wendi will critique one PB manuscript (up to 800 words).
CRITIQUE SPECIFICS: Esme is offering two query letter critiques.
Michael V. Colianna
Michael is an SFF author, writing a mix of science-fiction and fantasy, with two manuscripts and several short stories he is working on. He is active in multiple online critique groups, as well as some local ones, and has provided beta reads for over twenty full stories. Even though he writes SFF, Michael has read all kinds of different genres. And while he may not provide the best feedback on romance elements, he’ll certainly try his best. Michael approaches critiques and betas similarly: Focusing on the things that are already working great, pointing out where he sees opportunities, and explaining if there’s anything that snags him. Line edits and spelling/grammar things, for Michael, are better left for professional editors. Michael loves to read stories with diverse representation. He is very hard of hearing due to an ear condition, and has even had periods with no hearing. So stories with deaf or hard of hearing characters are of particular interest to him. Since he and his wife have been trying to conceive for several years, he is also keen to read stories about infertility. Some of his favorite recent reads: “A Song Below Water,” by Bethany C. Morrow, “The Unspoken Name,” by A.K. Larkwood, FIYAH Literary Magazine #15, and “The Cruel Stars,” by John Birmingham. You can follow Michael on Twitter.
CRITIQUE SPECIFICS: Michael will provide one critique of the first 50 pages of your novel, preferably adult scifi or fantasy.
Tiffany C. Lewis
Tiffany is the author of three books (Inside Out, Stitches, and El Jeffe) and has been published more than a dozen times in anthologies and magazines. She is also a publisher who works tirelessly to support other authors looking to bring their art to the world. Of her critiquing style, she says, “I am really a tough-love critique who doesn’t sugar coat because understanding where weakness is in a manuscript helps us grow and produce our best work!” Visit her website and you can follow her on Twitter.
CRITIQUE SPECIFICS: Tiffany is offering one critique of 50 pages of any genre though she is most experienced with crime fiction.
Laura Chilibeck lives on the west coast of Canada with her husband, three boys and their cat. She’s always enjoyed reading and watching Sci-fi and fantasy stories. Twelve years ago when one of her short stories turned into a novel she realized she had to keep writing. Since then she’s written five young adult manuscripts. She’s critiqued ten full manuscripts, numerous first chapters and queries. With every story, edit, and critique that she does she learns more about writing. She’s about to query her YA fantasy novel RUNE, about a Time Manipulator who’s on a mission to protect a magical relic. While querying she’ll be starting edits on her newest manuscript about a paranoid Empress, sisters separated at birth and a rebellion. You can find more information about Laura on her website, and she’s also on Twitter.
CRITIQUE SPECIFICS: Laura is offering a critique of 50 pages. She writes YA fantasy, but is willing to critique any genre except horror and is not interested in any manuscript that depicts self-harm, suicide or child abuse.
Kathleen is an author of YA and adult novels as well as a sensitivity reader. She has eclectic reading tastes, but horror is her favorite. You can follow Kathleen on Twitter.
CRITIQUE SPECIFICS: Kathleen is donating a critique of 50 pages of your manuscript. As mentioned, horror is her favorite genre, and she prefers YA. She will critique anything other than MG, adult romace/erotica, or anything with romance heavy plots.
Emily Shore is a MN author with a B.A. in Creative Writing from Metro State University and was a grand prize winner of #PitchtoPublication, which led her to working with professionals in the publishing industry. She is signed with Clean Teen Publishing for her anti-trafficking dystopian The Uncaged Series – #1: The Aviary. For every sale, proceeds return to trafficking rescue. She writes in multiple book genres and ultimately strives for strong, female characters.Over the years, Emily has connected with rescue organizations and trafficking survivors and injects the truths she’s learned into her books. She is a trained awareness speaker and loves speaking on sexual violence and always hopes for more speaking events in schools, churches, and libraries. Please contact her on her website if you are interested in hearing her speak – and to sign up for her newsletter!Emily lives in Saint Paul with her husband and two daughters. Emily is pursuing grad school for domestic abuse advocacy. You can find her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
CRITIQUE SPECIFICS: Emily is offering a critique of up to 50 pages of your manuscript. Emily prefers YA and loves paranormal, fantasy and dystopian. She won’t critique erotica.
Susan Pape is an award-winning former journalist who worked for national and regional newspapers and magazines. More recently she worked in higher education, teaching journalism at Leeds Trinity University. With her co-author, Sue Featherstone, she wrote two successful journalism text books – Newspaper Journalism: A Practical Introduction and Feature Writing: A Practical Introduction (both published by Sage). Susan and Sue then thought they’d try their hand at fiction and their debut novel, A Falling Friend, (published by Lakewater Press), has been followed by a second and third book, A Forsaken Friend and A Forgiven Friend in what’s become the Friends trilogy. The pair are now working on their fourth novel. You can find Susan on her website and on Twitter.
CRITIQUE SPECIFICS: Susan will critique up to 50 pages of your manuscript. She prefers women’s lit, general fiction, or crime. She would rather not critique YA, horror, or scifi.
CRITIQUE SPECIFICS: Kate will critique the first 50 pages of your MG or YA novel. She prefers to not receive historical novels.
Ellie S. Verhalen (and the canine critique team)
Hi, I’m Ellie an ace/gray-aro writer and reader of all things sweet, dark, and fantastic, particularly in the MG/YA categories (though I’ve been known to devour a good mystery or two). Found families? Queer Platonic relationships? Magic? Horror? Contemporary or Fantasy? I’m your gal. I’m best with big picture development issues–tension, pacing, character development, plot holes, and inconsistencies etc.–but be warned, I don’t hold back. I’m here to help you dig deep. I won’t be mean or cruel. I will be upfront and honest. Also, I will gush over things I love with abandon. You can find Ellie on Twitter.
CRITIQUE SPECIFICS: Ellie will be doing one critique of the first 50-pages of a novel. In addition to the information above, please keep in mind that Ellie isn’t interested in critiquing erotica. **UPDATE- Ellie is also offering to do 12 query critiques***
Kristy Fairlamb is an Australian author of Young Adult novels with high stakes and heart, including the recent Lucid series: Lucid (Book 1) and Luminous (Book 2). She spends her days drinking coffee and torturing her characters with loads of tension – both love related and the nail biting kind. She lives with her husband, teenage daughter, and two sons in the beautiful Adelaide Hills where they’re lucky enough to get occasional visits from the local koalas. She’s terrible at gardening, likes her bookshelves sorted by colour, and recently checked off a lifelong dream of jumping from a plane. When she’s not writing or daydreaming about her stories you’ll find her reading, cooking for her family, or doing anything to avoid the housework. You can follow Kristy on Instagram and Facebook.
CRITIQUE SPECIFICS: Kristy will do a critique of 50 pages of your YA manuscript
Sandy Goldsworthy was raised in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, blocks from the rocky shores of Lake Michigan. As a child, she fantasized about becoming an author. She jotted story lines in spiral notebooks and drew images of characters that never came to life. Her passion for putting pen to paper began when her high school English teacher inspired her to be more descriptive in her work. Ever since, Sandy dabbled in creative writing, searching for that perfect shade of red and that character you want to get to know. A graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Sandy is the YA author of the paranormal romance series, The Afterworld Saga. She spends her days managing corporate client programs, and her nights and weekends drafting new plot lines in spiral notebooks. Sandy and her husband have two children and reside in southeastern Wisconsin with their energetic English Mastiff. Learn more about Sandy on her website, Twitter, and her Facebook page.
CRITIQUE SPECIFICS: Sandy prefers paranormal, but is also open to historical and romance. Please note–due to a full calendar, Sandy won’t be able to do her critique until the beginning of September.
Sue Featherstone’s career started in local newspapers before switching to PR to become internal communications manager with a large utility company.
She completed a degree in English Literature as a mature student and subsequently moved into higher education, teaching journalism to undergraduate students at Sheffield Hallam University. Along with her friend and collaborator, Susan Pape, Sue is the author of two journalism textbooks and the contemporary, character-driven Friends series: A Falling Friend (Book 1), A Forsaken Friend (Book 2), and A Forgiven Friend (Book 3). You can find Sue on Twitter and on her website.
CRITIQUE SPECIFICS: Sue will critique the first 50 pages of your manuscript.
Barbra Campbell writes dirty-sweet romance from the Western Slope of Colorado. Her romances feel sweet but always leave the door open for the dirty stuff because relationships don’t stop when the couples start kissing! You can find out more about Barbra and her books on her author page and on linktree.
CRITIQUE SPECIFICS: Barbra is kindly offering a critique of the first 50 pages of your manuscript. She will critique any genre, but says her forte is contemporary romance and short story romance.
Leira K. Lewis
Leira K. Lewis is a Northern California based YA fantasy writer. Diagnosed with dyslexia at a young age, she struggled to read and write, but fantasy books inspired her to start storytelling. She learned to write by reading and has spent over ten years studying the craft. Now, she is represented by Kristy Hunter at the Knight Agency and is currently in revision. When she isn’t writing, she can be found playing with her four cats or finishing her master’s degree.. In the meantime, you can find her on Twitter and Instagram.
CRITIQUE SPECIFICS: Leira is offering five 10-page critiques. She prefers fantasy or romance, but is open to critique YA (any genre except contemporary) and adult romance or mystery/ thriller..
And…your host…Jodi Gallegos, aka the birthday girl, aka the old chick, aka the lady of many years.
Jodi is a nurse, developmental editor, and the author of two historical romances and the upcoming YA fantasy The High Crown Chronicles. You can find me …well, here, this is my website and you did find me here, and you can also follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and/or on my Facebook page.
CRITIQUE SPECIFICS: In an effort to help as many people as possible while still keeping my day job, I will be offering seven query critiques. **I am offering a total of 10 query critiques**