The Big 50 Giveaway (for writers)

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 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!!!


Rebecca Carpenter

Rebecca Carpenter

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.

About James L. Weaver

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 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.

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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 French

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

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.

GKSihat – writer, reader, dreamer

Gurpreet Sihat

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 Grantham

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 Risser

Kelly Risser

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.

Deborah Maroulis

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 Silvano

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).

Esme Symes-Smith

Among their many talents, Esme is a kidlit author and natural master of the query letter. You can find them on their website and on Twitter.

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

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 Allen

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

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

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.


Kate Foster

Kate is an editor, literary agent, and author of the MG novel Winell Road. You can find Kate on her website and on Twitter.

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

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

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

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.

An image posted by the author.

Barbra Campbell

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..

Jodi Gallegos - Book Cave

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**

86 Replies to “The Big 50 Giveaway (for writers)”

  1. Susan Burdorf says: Reply

    Can I just say that you have some amazing people listed here. Any one of them would be wonderful to work with!
    Kate Foster (*eyes closed, fingers crossed)
    Pitch: A ghost, a chicken, & a girl walk into a space cantina seeking answers to the universe. Instead, they find a pirate w/a missing ship; a plot to overthrow the universe; & a kitten w/a superiority complex. What’s a girl to do? Save the galaxy, of course. #MG #SF

    Thank you so much for the chance.
    Susan B

    1. Jodi Gallegos says: Reply

      They are all amazing. Best of luck, Susan.

    2. Thank you for organizing this.
      Gurpreet Sihat
      Title: Alisha in Roshanban
      Pitch: Ever met a blue tiger? Alisha did and brought her to a magical cave kingdom with fantastic creatures where her rebellious nature is accepted. When the phoenix-dragon queen threatens her new friends, she defies her traditional Indian upbringing to save them.

      1. Jodi Gallegos says: Reply

        Thank you and good luck!

  2. Kathryn Sommerlot says: Reply

    My birthday is this month, too – what a wonderful thing all of you are doing here! Amazed at the generosity. <3

    Laura Chilibeck 🙂

    PITCH: George, youngest mage-hunter in King Charles's guard, fears two things: his hidden desires kept under lock and key, and the undead army raised by his former comrade. Both can ruin him.

    Both will try.
    (Charlemagne's war against the Saxons—but with magic.)
    #YA #Historical Fantasy #LGBTQ+

    1. Jodi Gallegos says: Reply

      Happy birthday to you and good luck

    2. Laura Chilibeck says: Reply

      Happy Birthday Kathryn! I love the title of your novel. Your pitch is intriguing, those are some high stakes!

  3. Corin Burnside says: Reply

    Happy Birthday Jodi! This is a lovely generous gesture, thank you for the opportunity to enter.

    I choose Sue Pape.

    TITLE: Finding Agnes
    PITCH: Claire’s life is spiralling into disaster when she rescues her elderly aunt from a busy road. Aunt M is searching for her lost love, Agnes, and Claire rashly promises to help. Can she discover what happened to someone who disappeared 70 years ago to put Aunt M’s mind at rest, and at the same time find her own way back to happiness?
    #A #HF #LGBTQ

    1. Jodi Gallegos says: Reply

      Thank you, Corin. Good luck

  4. Merril Elizabeth says: Reply

    Thanks for this!

    Laurie Bell

    Title: Crimson
    Upper MG Fantasy

    In a world where no one dreams, 13 year old Lira has begun dreaming of other lives: a kidnapped teen, a newly crowned princess, a grieving magician.
    She must travel across the dimensions to find the link between them, or risk changing the fate of many worlds

    1. Jodi Gallegos says: Reply

      Best of luck, Merril.

  5. Julie Shattuck says: Reply

    Happy Birthday! Thank you for organizing this and many thanks to all the writers volunteering their time to help others. I’d love a no-holds-back critique from the canine critique team (and Ellie S. Verhale) for my MG contemporary fantasy.

    Lonely 12yo Reah fears she’s crazy. After all, her best friend only exists in her mind. But when she solves a riddle and ends up in his world, she finds he’s real and trapped. Unless she trusts her own mind, she’ll get stuck too.

    1. Jodi Gallegos says: Reply

      Thank you, Julie, and good luck

    2. Ellie S. Verhalen says: Reply

      Interesting pitch Julie. I always appreciate a story that can comp one of my all-time favorite MG books. Good luck (from me and the canine critique team)!

  6. Deborah Maroulis because I can’t do this With or Without Her (lol). A little bird (Wren) told me Deborah is the perfect match for my manuscript which deals with a boy learning to embrace himself and learn body positivity while trying to win a junior chef cooking competition and his celebrity chef father’s approval.


    Plus-size eleven-year old Kyle enters a recipe in an online contest, winning a coveted spot on a wildly successful junior chef competition. There’s just one problem: Kyle can’t cook. Hoping to gain his own dad’s approval and love, Kyle vows not only to learn, but to win and claim the right to cook alongside a celebrity chef of his choice: his own father! A MG contemporary full of heart, age-appropriate banter and food puns, FAKING IT will appeal to fans of “Masterchef Jr.,” “Top Chef,” The Next Best Junior Chef and Summer of a Thousand Pies.

    1. Jodi Gallegos says: Reply

      Lol. If it a point-based system, you’d get bonus points for incorporating her title.
      Good luck, Pamela.

      1. And Wren, the little bird. Is her MC! Happy Birthday!

  7. John L Williamson says: Reply

    Kate Foster because the main character is a sensitive, intelligent 17-y.o. boy and that’s something she might find a connection to.
    Title: THE BOOK OF RYAN Genre: YA
    ‘Total loser’ Ryan’s only hope to save his alcoholic father’s job is to befriend the very popular (and somewhat mysterious) daughter of ‘Chainsaw’ Hanfield, the new plant manager. Ryan’s only connection is through the drama club, where she’s the star and he’s a set painter.

    1. Jodi Gallegos says: Reply

      Good luck, John

  8. It’s time we had some pirate stories where girls don’t have to dress up like boys, use magic or fall in love with the hot captain in order to get noticed. Would love for Emily Shore to consider my YA manuscript.
    Title: Castaway Islands
    Honouring her mother’s dying wish, fourteen-year-old Cali enrols in a pirate school. Between learning to sail an 18th century ship and surviving the evil sword fighting teacher, her mission to uncover her mother’s secret past lands her in a swashbuckling race to locate a nefarious captain’s treasure.

    1. Jodi Gallegos says: Reply

      I agree, Noel. Good luck

  9. A very happy birthday, Jodi. This is an extremely generous giving back to the community, so thank you for the opportunity. =)

    Michael V. Colianna! His experience in editing and preference towards adult fantasy seems a solid fit.

    Title: ÆLEMENT [Adult Epic Fantasy]
    Dalen’s the embarrassment of the Earth Sage academy. His incompetence as an acolyte causes a prized relic to go missing—and gets Dalen murdered. But when Dalen awakens in the glowing cities of Death, something’s wrong: He isn’t dead.
    Löra’s almost dead. The heir to Life’s ruling duarchy, she’s being held for ransom by Dalen’s murderers. But Löra’s stolen something from her kidnappers—something powerful. Now, the ancient Necricosi cult hunts Dalen and Löra to seize the powers they both hold, powers the cult needs for their ultimate goal: immortality, gained by destroying the gateway between Life and Death.

    1. Jodi Gallegos says: Reply

      Thanks David-Christopher. And good luck

    2. Thanks for the consideration, David-Christopher! And yes, Jodi’s awesome for putting this together! Good luck!

  10. Happy Birthday Jodi, and thank you for offering this amazing opportunity! I would love to work with Sandy Goldsworthy because of her preference with the paranormal genre.

    Pitch: Elijah is a lot like the house he just inherited on the coast of Maine: moody and withdrawn. But when a mysterious man offers to help him fix up the property, Elijah finds himself wanting to tear his own walls down.

    If, of course, the house will allow it.
    #A #PF #Gothic #LGBTQ+

    1. Jodi Gallegos says: Reply

      Thank you Samantha and good luck!

  11. Happy Birthday! Thank you for the opportunity to participate. If Sue Featherstone is interested, I’d love a critique of my nonfiction WIP because of her experience as a journalist.

    Pitch: A series of interviews of common people across America beginning with the first lockdowns in March and ending potentially with the widespread availability of a vaccine.

    I know that this is a subject that people are tired of, and it is true I am having trouble selling it. Still, it would be wonderful to get some feedback and to produce the best narrative I possibly can.

    Followed on Twitter & Facebook.

    1. Jodi Gallegos says: Reply

      Thank you, Gretchen and best of luck

  12. Michael V. Colianna – I like how he has described his critique style & I appreciate his experience with sci-fi. Thanks for giving us all this awesome opportunity! There’s only a little romance in my novel, don’t worry! ha 🙂

    Garrik works at a company that sells emotions. When his company threatens a fugitive, he decides to hide her. But when an escape plan goes awry, he discovers the job he always wanted might cost him what he always needed: true love.

    1. Jodi Gallegos says: Reply

      Best of luck, Katie

    2. Thanks for joining in, Katie! Good luck!

  13. Justine Winans says: Reply

    Thanks for doing this, hope it’s a great birthday month for you.
    I’d love help on my kidlit query, so Esme Symes-Smith would be a great fit.



    Anxious lesbian Bianca Torre witnesses a bird-obsessed killer cult murder their neighbor. Before the cult strikes again, Bianca must solve a city-wide conspiracy with their new platonic soulmate–and work through a gender identity crisis. #YA

    1. Jodi Gallegos says: Reply

      Thank you and good luck to you

    2. Hi Justina, I’m a HUGE fan of Platonic Soulmates *heart eyes* and yours sounds amazing!!

    3. Hi Justine! I’m a huuuge sucker for Platonic Soulmates *heart eyes* and yours sounds AMAZING!! Good luck! Esme

  14. Frances White says: Reply

    Thanks so much for this. My query is in much need of whipping into shape so a query master sounds ideal, so my choice is Esme Symes-Smith.



    In a world where sexual desire is forbidden, illegitimate Noa attends an elite academy to shake his prostitute mother’s reputation. But when he falls for an enigmatic new boy, he must choose—glory and status, or love.

    1. Jodi Gallegos says: Reply

      Best of luck, Frances

  15. Nadi Reed Perez says: Reply

    Thank you so much for this amazing opportunity! And happy birthday, Jodi!
    I think Sherry Ficklin would be a good fit.
    Title: Has-Been
    Genre: Adult Paranormal (with elements of romance and horror)
    Mal ruined her own life. Then she died. But death is a fresh start. Between a mansion full of partying ghosts, and a medium willing to help with her unfinished business, she could fix the mess she left behind—or blow it off and party.

    1. Jodi Gallegos says: Reply

      Thank you, and good luck!

  16. What an amazing opportunity, thank you!
    Also kudos to KRISTY FAIRLAMB for tweeting this… I’m pitching this to you.

    All seventeen-year-old Amy wants is Flynn, the eighteen-year-old bad-boy neighbour who stole her heart from the moment she and her single mother moved into the same inner-Melbourne apartment complex.
    But years of moving house has left Amy feeling invisible, and as peer pressure pushes her into a dangerous obsession with the ghost of a nineteenth-century bloodletter, will Flynn’s love be strong enough to save her sanity as well as her life?

    #YA romance

    1. Jodi Gallegos says: Reply

      Thank you and good luck

  17. Thank you for such a generous opportunity. Happy birthday!
    I think Kate Foster would be a stellar fit for my mythological fantasy.

    The Flame of Olympus X Lost Boys

    13 yo Abree, an Aries orphan, lives in a world ruled by Zodiac demi-gods. Tasked to master Fire—she fails. Instead, dwelling in thoughts of finding her family. When Abree is accused of theft, she must survive on the run. Impossible, until she befriends Gemini twins who introduce her to their band of misfits.

    1. Jodi Gallegos says: Reply

      Thank you, Lorraine. And good luck!

  18. Amanda McLaren says: Reply

    Laurie Bell specifically mentions trains, so I think she’s my gal.

    Salem Bixel quickly learns that catering to the emotional needs of the rich citizens of Syndara as they travel the luxurious Saine Express is not all it’s cracked up to be. After being blamed for a derailment, she’s sent to the wilds to work on the rail, and finds that the rail barons have a lot more to answer to.

    #YA romance #trainsallday

    1. Jodi Gallegos says: Reply

      Best of luck

  19. Happy Birthday!
    I think Susan Pape would be a great fit for my mystery novel, considering her interest in crime fiction.

    Big Little Lies meets The Guest List
    A woman takes refuge at her friend’s house during a hurricane and winds up accused of murder.

    1. Jodi Gallegos says: Reply

      Thank you and good luck!

  20. I would be grateful for Kristy Fairlamb’s thoughts on my futuristic Australia setting and her appreciation for dark stories.

    There was a time I faked being mute, hated my stutter. Numbed by fear, I rejected a bionic arm when the enemy took my real arm. Now, I unearth the secrets that keep my people imprisoned within these lands since before I was born. Now I fight to break us out. -Wastelands girl
    16 yo Joe gains a bionic arm, outruns child-snatchers with the help of a chatterbox boy, and finds her voice.

    1. Jodi Gallegos says: Reply

      Best of luck!

  21. Ooh, thank you for choosing me Melanie.
    Your book sounds great, fingers crossed I get a sneak peak.

  22. Happy birthday! I found this through your post on the Author Mentor Match facebook group, I hope I’m not too late! It’s already your Birthday here in australia!

    I’d love to put one in with Ellie S. Verhalen and the canine team to break down my desert-punk fantasy.
    Title: The Forgefiends of Revance
    Pitch: A conscript on a walking fortress, Ryza must hide a dark upbringing or face execution. When he finds a magical robot on a scout run, he discovers a strange link between it, the fortress and smuggled, mind-numbed slave. Mutiny brews and Ryza’s past about is to be exposed.

    1. Jodi Gallegos says: Reply

      Thank you. I’ll be selecting winners this evening (my time 😉) so it’s not too late.
      Good luck to you!

    2. Ellie S. Verhalen says: Reply

      Who doesn’t like a good mutiny? Or desert-punk? Sounds like an interesting tale

  23. Sarah Leonard says: Reply

    Happy Birthday, Jodi. I’d like to pitch my high concept psychological thriller, THE ISLANDERS, to James L Weaver.

    And Then There Were None X reality tv show Love Island.
    A contestant is found dead in the pool and Kim, an ex-cop, is convinced it’s murder. Then the announcement comes, one of them did this and Kim must find out who. Live on television. For every hour that passes, another will die.

    1. Jodi Gallegos says: Reply

      Thank you, and best of luck.

  24. Happy birthday! I hope I’m not too late! This is such a lovely opportunity.

    I think Ellie S. Verhalen and her well-read pups would be a great match for me – found families? Magic and queer characters? You got it!

    THE HIDDEN PRINCESS is a queer YA fantasy. Obelia knows that her loyalty must always be to her family, but when her handmaiden is kidnapped, she will have to go against her uncle and leave home for the first time in her life in order to save her. Obelia’s quest turns deadly when she is faced with an impossible decision: free Alcina and doom the boy who has become a brother to her, or leave the woman she loves to rot.

    1. Jodi Gallegos says: Reply

      Perfect timing. I’ll announce winners after work tonight.
      Good lick

    2. Jodi Gallegos says: Reply

      Or luck 😳

      1. Hahaha oops! Thank you, can’t wait!

    3. Ellie S. Verhalen says: Reply

      and Check

      Way to check off some of my all time favorite things!

      Thanks for pitching!

  25. Oh, I hope I’m not too late! Happy birthday, Jodi!

    I would love to work with Kate Foster on my YA Sci-Fantasy novel!

    16yo Ellie & Gemma can survive anything: anti-Việt bullying, mom’s death, an alien invasion—but they won’t survive the human rebellion—unless they can successfully assassinate the powerful alien overlord.
    #YA #SFY #R #OWN

    1. Jodi Gallegos says: Reply

      Not too late. Thank you and best of luck

  26. I’m going to pitch to Ellie because I remember her cool sounding ghost story from RevPit. Ghost people are the coolest people. <3 <3 <3

    I have a YA paranormal/urban fantasy novel.

    I don’t have a pitch, but when I do CP Tweets I say my MS includes:
    -A soul in the wrong body
    -A stabby girl and a soft boy
    -Ghosts, a reaper, and a mad scientist
    -A ticking clock and high personal stakes

    Comps are The Hearts We Sold by Emily Lloyd-Jones and the TV show Supernatural.

    1. Jodi Gallegos says: Reply

      Good luck!

    2. Ellie S. Verhalen says: Reply

      Ghost people are pretty fantastic. And there’s a stabby girl and soft boy?

      Sounds brilliant!

  27. Hello! What A lovely idea! Thank you so much!

    name: Esme Symes-Smith (Esme is the name of my gorgeous villain girl 🙂
    YA Fantasy – Dual POV

    Furyborn x HavenFall. Two lifetimes. Two worlds. One forbidden love. From mystic Erhat to modern London. Snow and Selene must choose: remain a model daughter striving to belong, or follow their hearts and dive into darkness risking chaos between worlds

    1. Jodi Gallegos says: Reply

      Best of luck.

  28. Joanna Ziarko says: Reply

    Happy Birthday Jodi!!! Congrats on turning 50- it’s a big day! 🙂

    I would love to work with Emily Shore on my YA paranormal mystery!

    Told in dual timelines, two girls discover they have the power to go inside gravestones and talk to the dead. After discovering a whole community of Gravers in 1978, one of them thinks there might be something sinister inside the graves. The other, in 1996, uses her power to find her missing parents, and when she finds out all the Gravers have been missing for over 15 years, she must solve the mystery before getting stuck in a grave forever. #YA #p

    1. Jodi Gallegos says: Reply

      Thank you and good luck!

  29. Jamie Lee Tucker says: Reply

    This is a wonderful list. Thank you, Jodi, and happy birthday!

    I’d like to pitch my YA Fantasy novel, MOONWOVEN, to Leira K. Lewis.

    17-year-old Sienna has trained her entire life to create the perfect lie, the lie that will get her a spot in the kingdom’s most dangerous competition and one step closer to murdering the queen who killed her parents. But when she learns the truth about her parents and deadly creatures find their way into her world, she must choose between revenge and protecting the kingdom.

    1. Jodi Gallegos says: Reply

      Thank you and best of luck.

  30. Loretta Chefchaouni says: Reply

    Hello! And Happy Birthday, Jodi!!!
    I’d love to take part in the giveaway if I’m not too late.
    for Leira K. Lewis
    GENRE: YA Urban Fantasy
    17yo Jannat helps Baba solve crimes because she hears the dead in Barzakh, the after realm, when she sits near their graves. But there’s one unsolvable case that haunts her: her mama, missing, presumed dead, whom she can never hear. But there may be a way Jannat can travel to Barzakh herself and find out how she died.
    Thank you!!!!

    1. Jodi Gallegos says: Reply

      Thank you and good luck!

  31. Not sure if I’m too late or not, but I’m going to try anyways. Also happy birthday Jodi!
    For Emily Shore
    Title: Sign of Fire
    Genre: YA Fantasy
    Pitch: WICKED SAINTS X The Firebird
    Zafira’s ability to control fire has made her a legend, but it has also attracted the attention of an ages-old monster king. She has 2 options: become his queen or submit herself to the witch hunters calling for her blood.

    1. Jodi Gallegos says: Reply

      Not too late at all. Good luck

  32. Happy Birthday and thank you to everyone for their generosity! If it’s not too late, I’d like to try! I’d like to pitch to Leira K. Lewis but it was hard to choose because there are so many amazing folks on the list!

    GENRE: Upper YA Science-Fantasy
    PITCH: Illegal healer Tory, captured and imprisoned, meets —and immediately despises—Lieutenant Sena Vantaras, half-blooded son of the country’s most decorated general. Tory, tattooed as the bastard child of a criminal, is ashamed of his past. Sena, soldier in service to the state that murders his mother’s people, is ashamed of his present. But Tory is not actually a healer, Sena is not what Tory believes him to be, and war—and the forces that oppose it—will throw the two together, whether they can bear each other or not.

    1. Jodi Gallegos says: Reply

      It’s not too late. I’m not choosing winners until after work tonight. Good luck

  33. Hello, and Happy Birthday! 🙂
    Title: Casters
    Genre: YA Fantasy
    Lissette, a hacker with OCD, creates digital spells as quickly as she breezes through books. But when a virus infects that magical technology, she must stop it before it spreads and kills everyone she loves.

    I’d love a critique from Laurie Bell! Thanks again 🙂

    1. Jodi Gallegos says: Reply

      Thank you and good luck!

  34. Katherine Toran says: Reply

    Happy Birthday! Thanks so much for offering so many great critiques! I’d like to toss my hat into the ring for Courtney Lynn Rose, though everyone looks amazing.

    Title: How to Seduce Four Princes
    Genre: Fantasy Romance
    Pitch: Cursed prince split into four men seeks true love. To break the spell, she must love all four: a romantic, a snob, a warrior, and a crybaby. Deadline: 1 week or he dies. Inside Out meets an adult Cinderella story with LGBTQ+ content.

    1. Jodi Gallegos says: Reply

      Thank you and good luck!

  35. Connie Morgan says: Reply

    Wow, what a generous birthday gift to the writing community. This is my first completed manuscript but I have have made edits after beta reader feedback.
    I would be happy to work with Rebecca, Tamara, Sherry, Deborah, Susan, or Barbra, of course!
    Title: Path to a Second Chance
    Genre: ContemporaryWomen’s Fiction/Romance
    Pitch: Once 34 y.o. Lora decides to take on the task of making peace with her past and move ahead with her life, she serendipitously meets Cooper and his family. For a moment it seems like divine intervention but Cooper runs scared. His rejection motivates Lora to do the real healing work necessary to find her second chance – but, along the way, second chances are offered to the story’s multigenerational cast of characters.

    1. Jodi Gallegos says: Reply

      Hi Connie, I’m sorry but the deadline was the 18th and all the winners have been chosen. I do try to offer this every year on my birthday, though as well as occasional & random critique giveaways.

      1. So sorry, I just saw the blurb about it today and must have been so excited I didn’t register the date. Hope I find out next year in time. What a lovely gift, so thoughtful. New writers are eager for mentors.

        1. Jodi Gallegos says: Reply

          No worries. Keep an eye on Twitter. I do random crit giveaways and share those that my friends are offering too.

          1. Thanks for the tip.

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