Critique Partner Connection — Time to Meet Your Match!

Critique Partner Connection

Stacey here with my critique partner and compadre Stephanie! In December we shared our Critiquing Cheat Sheet, and in January, Kelly wrote about how to respond to critiques. For February, we thought it might be helpful and fun to do a Critique Partner Connection, in which we share a little about how we met each other, share tips on maximizing your relationship with your CP, and then give you a chance to make a connection on your own! P.S. For more tips, make sure to check out the podcast episode JJ and Kelly did about critique groups as well.

1. Have chemistry

Stacey: Stephanie and I met through Pitch Wars, Brenda Drake’s annual contest connecting writers with agents (and if you’re looking for an agent, we highly recommend this particular contest, which is in its 5th year.) We were both mentors. Stephanie was receiving all the pitches, and I remember thinking, who is this girl? And when we started emailing more regularly, and then meeting up in person, it was pretty clear we were almost the same person. We share so much of the same sense of humor and sensitivities, that she’s become like a sister. A sister shares life experiences with you, so that when you need help teasing out the story, she knows what you’re trying to do and will help you. A sister makes time for you, and isn’t afraid to tell you when you’re wearing your shirt inside out. This is why having a great CP is worth a cadre of beta readers. A CP means a deeper connection, and a deeper investment in your story.

Stephanie: Side note to that story: when I first met Stacey, I was unpublished, and I hardly knew any writers—I still have no idea why someone as cool as Stacey would want to be my friend—but I am so grateful she reached out to me!

Here we are a few days ago having our favorite salads (avocados, figs, baby romaine, chicken, goat cheese) and talking about writing, and life.

Here we are a few nights ago having our favorite salad (avocados, figs, baby romaine, chicken, goat cheese) and talking about writing, and life.

2. Be clear about what you want

Stacey: Some writers only prefer a critique after the whole manuscript is scrubbed shiny, while others need input along the way. Sometimes, it depends on the project. For Stephanie and I, we get into each other’s business at most steps of the way, from idea to pitch to story to jacket copy.

Stephanie: Usually when I send a story to Stacey I’m in the early stages of writing it and I want the honest truth about what works and what doesn’t, because I’m building my foundation and I want it to be as strong as possible. But sometimes, usually when I’m further down the road and my agent or editor has already vetted my book, I might have someone read my story over to make sure that it still makes sense. But maybe, at this point, my book has been ripped apart (multiple times) so even though it could still use more work, I might just be looking for a more supportive and encouraging critique, because let’s be honest, we all need reassurance sometimes.

3. Be respectful of time and boundaries

Stacey: This is also true for any relationship ever.

4. Do point out what’s working, along with what’s not working

Stephanie: One of the reasons I enjoy having Stacey as my CP is that she makes it fun to read her comments. She gives me so much positive feedback that I feel energized to tackle the problematic areas!

I’m a firm believer in the sandwich method. I like to say something nice, something critical, followed by something nice. And usually when I’m sending someone back their MS, I’ll write an email where I only say kind things and then I’ll attach the document with my more critical comments—that way I’m never blindsiding someone with an email that they might not be ready to read.

If you want to participate our critique partner connection, leave the following in the comments:

  1. Email address
  2. Category and genre(s) you write in
  3. Category and genre you critique/don’t want to critique
  4. Info about your writing background, e.g., how long you’ve been writing, whether you have or have had an agent
  5. Yourself in five words
  6. Strengths as a critique partner

Participants agree that leaving their info in the comments means others are welcome to contact them about making a Critique Partner Connection. We highly suggest exchanging a few pages or chapters of your manuscripts before committing to anything further.

Also, like dating, it’s entirely possible that an apple that seems *perfect!* at first blush will turn out to be mushy when you get to the center. Only time will tell, and therefore, let time do its job.

     

56 Responses to Critique Partner Connection — Time to Meet Your Match!

  1. Natalia Feb 12 2016 at 7:24 am #

    Hi all. I’d love to participate 🙂

    Email: nataliawikana@gmail.com
    Category/Genre: YA fantasy, Sci-fi
    Love to critique the above category/genre. I’m open to anything 🙂
    I’ve been writing since 2009. Done two novels and searching for an agent. Meanwhile interning as a content writer.
    Introvert, committed, organised, nerdy, serious

    As a critique partner: listener, honest, balancing both the good and the bad in feedback, come up with suggestions

    • Nikhi Feb 12 2016 at 7:51 am #

      Ooh, I sent you an email 😉

    • Dave Apr 19 2016 at 6:10 pm #

      If you still don’t have a reviewer I might be interested.

      Thanks,

      Dave

  2. Nikhi Feb 12 2016 at 7:54 am #

    I’ve written a YA fantasy that has just received an R&R (yesterday, in fact!) and I’d like a rather brutal critique regarding world building and pacing, specifically, though the other elements are also up for critiquing.

    I’ve been writing for the past three years (mind, I’m only 17, so those first 2 years were filled with crap writing). I’ve critiqued several other people’s work before and am best at identifying plot and pacing issues as well as character development. I’m also a grammar Nazi, if that helps! I can give a critique as either an editorial letter-style or chapter by chapter, depending on your ms.

    I’m pretty introverted, committed, and quite neurotic about my organization.

    If you’re interested, don’t hesitate to email me back at nikhi96@gmail.com. 🙂

  3. Cheyenne Feb 12 2016 at 8:50 am #

    Email: chybell1 at gmail com

    Category/Genre: Fantasy (adult and YA. I have one of each completed, one of each as a WIP, and an adult space opera in progress as well).

    I’m happy to critique YA or A fantasy/SF, but I’d really love to find a CP who reads *some* adult fantasy as well. Locke Lamora, anyone? 🙂

    I’ve been seriously writing since 2012, don’t yet have an agent, but have completed three MSs. Currently I’m the editor for a UK film magazine who I’ve been writing/editing for since 2008.

    5 words: determined, hopeful, over-analyser, organised, perfectionist (ugh, which means I feel like I should do everything perfectly and since I obviously don’t, have a tendency to beat myself up more than I should).

    Strengths as a CP: If you need feedback by a specific date, I’m on it. I’m good at catching grammar issues (most of the time) and am a stickler for finding dangling modifiers 😉 I can tell you where a story loses my interest or I get confused, but I’m also going to tell you everything I love about it, whether concepts, characters, dialogue, or just beautiful lines. I live in the UK so I’m on GMT, but I love chatting and sprinting, and am keen to find one more CP — one who reads fantasy.

    • Nikhi Feb 12 2016 at 9:57 am #

      Sent you an email! 🙂

  4. Fabienne Feb 12 2016 at 9:41 am #

    1. Email: fabienne dot j dot seegler at gmail dot com
    2. I write in: YA (High/Epic) Fantasy
    3. I critique: YA (Fantasy – but I’m also ok with contemporary if it’s gripping)
    4. I started writing fiction around the age of 16. I am 23 now and have a Bachelor in Creative Writing. I am working towards getting an agent.
    5. Introverted, dreamer, perfectionist, nerdy, believed of hard work brings you far
    6. I’ve had loads of critiquing classes, am honest (though sometimes that can get across as harsh, but I’m not!), I like good looking at all the possibilities, I know a lot about structuring a novel.

    • Nikhi Feb 12 2016 at 9:58 am #

      Sent you an email 🙂 Also, Locke Lamora is on my TBR. Looks like it’ll be moved up so I can read it sooner!

      • Cheyenne Feb 12 2016 at 10:19 am #

        I’m just finishing the 3rd book in the series (listen to the Audiobooks if you can — the voice actor is INSANELY talented and makes the books even more hilarious 🙂

  5. Taylor Feb 12 2016 at 9:41 am #

    Hey guys! My name is Taylor and I write YA, mostly fantasy and sci-fi. My WIP is a YA light medical type scifi, 81k. There are currently 5 agents with the full manuscript, but I’m looking for a CP for both this novel still (just in case!) as well as for the future. I already have one CP, and am looking for just one more. I’m only looking to critique YA, and while I do like contemporary and will critique it, my preferences lean towards other genres.

    When I critique, I’ll tell you if a sentence sounds funny, sure. Mostly though, I aim to let you know the bigger issues: ie, character flaws, plot holes, paragraphs of unnecessary ranting, etc. We all have them.
    Shoot me an email at taylor.skvarek@gmail.com. Also, I live in SoCal (SD area) so if you’re looking for someone to occasionally grab a coffee with and discuss the ups and downs of hating and then loving our manuscripts and writing, we could probably do that. 😉

    Hope to hear from ya soon.

    • Nikhi Feb 12 2016 at 9:59 am #

      🙂 Someone else who started writing young! Yes. Sent you an email! I love that everyone here is into fantasy!

  6. Emily Feb 12 2016 at 11:02 am #

    Hi everyone, I’m Emily from Australia.

    1. Bulbee01@gmail.com

    2. I’m editing a YA sci-fi and writing an adult fantasy.

    3. I love reading YA and adult fantasy and sci-fi, basically anything with speculative elements.

    4. I’ve been writing since I was in high school (now late 20s) and finished my first MS last year and started entering competitions. I’m currently editing it based on feedback and working on a new story. I’m hoping to start querying this year.

    5. I’m nerdy, dedicated, introverted, and an over thinker.

    6. I have two great CPs and am interested in finding another. I tend to focus on pacing and character in my critiques as well as overall world building, big picture thoughts. I find reviewing a lot of fun and feel invested in my CPs stories 🙂

    Let me know if you’re interested in swapping chapters!

  7. Kirk Feb 12 2016 at 11:06 am #

    kraftka (at) frontier (dot) com

    I write everything from PB’s to MG humor & YA epic fantasy but fantasy is where my heart resides most of the time.

    I’m happy to critique any genre except romance and erotica. I tend to read children’s books the most & enjoy humor a great deal (see below) and fantasy the best, but am willing to read other genres as well.

    I’ve written for the majority of my life but decided to get really serious about 8 ½ years ago. Three completed novels, five completed picture books and a slew of others plotted, I’m on a mission to find an agent this year. I’m querying my humorous MG novel —the first book I’ve seriously queried—and working to revise my two YA fantasy novels.

    Five words: humorous, encouraging, committed, learner, writer

    I’m an encourager but also willing to tell you what works for me and what doesn’t without you feeling like I’m personally tearing you down. I tend to look at how a story flows, characterization and plot but can dig down as deep as you want me to go! After all, the point of a CP (at least in my eyes) is to offer/receive honest feedback that will improve the story and help you grow as a writer. Basically, I can be whatever you need me to be that will best suit your critique needs at the time.

  8. Silas Champion Feb 12 2016 at 11:32 am #

    Hey everyone I’m Silas Champion. I’ve been writing seriously for about five years.

    email: silaschampion (at)gmail(dot)com

    I write books that fall loosely into the New Adult category. That is, they are usually college road trip stories. Recently I’ve finished a YA fantasy as well.

    I’m willing to critique about any genre but I’m probably not the best fit for romance or erotica. I also am probably not the best the Sci-Fi genre.

    Five Words: Encouraging, honest, friendly, optimistic, over-caffeinated

    Strengths: I will be honest about what I think is good and bad although I try not be brutal. I tend to balance my praise and critique, but I won’t lie if I think something doesn’t work. Look forward to swapping a chapter or two.

  9. Jada Feb 12 2016 at 11:41 am #

    If you want to participate our critique partner connection, leave the following in the comments:

    psychmindfulbanter [at] gmail.com

    I write mostly YA/NA contemporaries focusing on coming-of-age themes with female protagonists.

    As for critique, I find I do best with the same kind of things I write about, but I also can give good criticism for mental health themes (mood disorders and anxiety mostly).

    I’m only a college student but I’ve been writing for essentially my entire life. I participated in NaNoWriMo three times, and currently doing a Creative Writing and Publishing certificate at my school. I’m also beta reading an NA PTSD themed manuscript. I’ve never had anything published nor an agent since I’ve only recently decided to get serious about writing, but I’ve started submitting stuff for literary journals recently.

    Five words: diligent, honest, curious, wordy, and challenging

    As a critique partner, I can definitely tell you what works and doesn’t work in whatever sense you’re looking for. I mainly look at how characters interact with the story and major plot points, but I always cater to what the other person wants looked at and try not to overstep. I’ve taken a literary editing class where I had to determine if a story was worth publishing into our magazine plus in-class critiques in my other writing classes, so I’ve had loads of experience reading other peoples work and trying to help make it the best it can be.

    Anyway, if you’re interested you can shoot me an email or you can find me on Twitter under @Mindful_Banter!

  10. Mari Rose Feb 12 2016 at 12:37 pm #

    Oh this is great. I’ve never had a “real” CP relationship. I’ve mostly received and given feedback to various writer friends who write different genres, so I’m hoping to find a good CP who shares my interests.

    Email address: bookspinethinker@gmail.com
    Category and genre(s) you write in: mostly YA fantasy

    I’ll critique fantasy/sci fi (YA or adult). They don’t have to be hard fantasy/sci fi but I like stories that have some fantastic element to them. I love magic especially. I don’t really work with contemporary.

    I’ve been writing since I was a teenager, so a little over 10 years now, but I started writing seriously around 2012 for a YA fantasy story I’ve had in mind for a very long time. I’m currently going through a round of revisions on that novel and I’m hoping to start querying this year.

    5 words: Geeky, introverted, sarcastic, passionate about stories, perfectionist

    I think I’m pretty good at helping with world building, since I do a lot of it for my own stories. I also look for big picture, plot, pacing, and character issues. I like throwing out suggestions if you need them, or just being a person to bounce ideas off of.

    • Mari Rose Feb 12 2016 at 12:38 pm #

      Oh and you can also find me on Twitter @merrywoes!

  11. carrie Feb 12 2016 at 12:37 pm #

    I write contemporary YA. My non-fiction book won 7 national awards, but I’m starting “over” with fiction. Studied with Matt de la Pena and Nova Ren Suma. As a critique partner, I line edit via ‘track changes’ but will offer overall suggestions as well. I have a few awesome beta readers already, but it’s good to have a few- timing can be tricky. I teach at Colorado Mountain College and write a bi-monthly column for the Summit Daily News.

    5 words: passionate, honest, spirit, friendly, curious

    Strengths- I am good at seeing the big picture

  12. Chrissy Feb 12 2016 at 1:47 pm #

    Email address:
    cfritts89 [at] me [dot] com or twitter @yssirhchrissy (I’m a fairly new tweeter (?) )

    Category and genre(s) you write in:
    YA/NA, my current novel is an Urban Fantasy with an eco-centric undertone (completed at 83k). It’s got the vamps and the werewolves, but I’ve tried to make them fresh and new, along with a completely new supernatural species.

    Category and genre you critique/don’t want to critique:
    I’d love to stick with YA/NA fiction in any sub-genre of fantasy and soft scifi. Enjoy dystopian, historical, and horror as well 🙂 ALL THE THINGS!

    Info about your writing background:
    I graduated with an MA in Creative Writing in 2015 and was shortlisted for the Janklow and Nesbit prize in the UK. I got my BA in English with a minor in Creative Writing. I’ve really been struggling with the querying stage, as I’m getting NO feedback from agents, just kind passes. I’m hoping it’s because the market for Urban Fantasy is overly saturated and a hard sale right now, but I foresee a comeback with the Shadowhunter TV series and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them on its way (fingers crossed, anyways). Would love some honest feedback from someone who has UF books on their own personal shelves!

    Yourself in five words:
    Dorky, Passionate, Honest, Meticulous, Rallier

    Strengths as a critique partner:
    Critique is my middle name! Ok, it’s not… it’s Marie, but I can tell you that, with an MA in Creative Writing, critiquing has become second nature. I know what to look for, have an eye for details and love doing word-by-word edits. I will ALWAYS overedit (hopefully that’s a good thing) and with a BA in English, have a bit of background with the more technical aspects of the English language. I always make sure my feedback is constructive and thoughtful and I LOVE brainstorming. I find I really thrive in a situation where ideas can be bounced back and forth. I’m also a libra and love long walks on the beach 😉

  13. Sylvie Feb 12 2016 at 3:00 pm #

    Email: soumyana@gmail.com
    Genre: PB, MG, YA and NA Fantasy
    Category to critique: I am best at critiquing fantasy. I am terrible with romance, horror and adult content.
    Writing background: I have been writing for eight years. Not agented. I have several novels under my wings, but didn’t feel ready to query. I guess I’m a perfectionist.
    Yourself in five words: will follow the string to the end of the maze, will nest a wounded bird, and will find a remedy everywhere until I find it so obsessed.
    Strengths as a critique partner: I see structures everywhere. I can pinpoint weaknesses with transitions, backstory, thrust and overall logic.

  14. Sioux Trett Feb 12 2016 at 3:18 pm #

    I love this so much, thanks for setting this up!

    You can reach me at: siouxshi (at) gmail (dot) com

    I write YA light fantasy, and my first book was self-published last year. I’m currently working on the sequel and would love to find a great CP to help me out! (The first book is called Drawn In if you want to look at it on Amazon and see if it’s your kind of thing or not. It’s a bit of a contemporary/fantasy hybrid.)
    I’ve been writing since I can remember, but only seriously in the last few years.

    Looking for someone who is passionate about YA and who celebrates geekiness (warning: there are geek and pop culture references all throughout my work. I’m looking for someone for whom this is an attraction and not a deterrent.) Also, someone who is open to the fact that I’m self-published and not seeking representation at this time.

    I’m good with honest feedback (both good and bad), and I love to give praise as well as critiques–I think it’s just as important to know what is working as it is to know what isn’t. I have a theatre background, and that has made me very aware of dialogue and I’m great at picking out when it sounds unnatural or stilted. I’m also good with the BIG picture.

    5 words for me: honest, kind, curious, introverted, geeky

  15. Claire Feb 12 2016 at 3:31 pm #

    Email address: ktcinthecity (at) gmail (dot) com
    Category and genre(s) you write in: Adult/NA contemporary/suspense with a romantic element (my last project was coming-of-age adult fiction with YA crossover appeal).
    Category and genre you critique/don’t want to critique: I’ll critique YA or adult – prefer thrillers/suspense, sci-fi, romance. I like fantasy but I would not be your best bet as a critique partner if you write that.
    Info about your writing background, e.g., how long you’ve been writing, whether you have or have had an agent: I’ve been writing since 2008 and have had an agent since 2010. I’ve been published by a Big-6 publisher. I’d prefer to work with someone who has an agent if possible. I don’t often use beta readers and have found writing/publishing to be a very isolating experience; I’m trying to build that network because I think it’s important for emotional survival in this business! I’d like to work with someone who is honest and tough, but also encouraging.
    Yourself in five words: thoughtful, honest, driven, inquisitive, kind
    Strengths as a critique partner: pacing, characterization, “breaking” a story. I don’t do line edits, nor do I need or want them from a critique partner – I’m more of a “big picture” reader.

    Please feel free to e-mail me if you think we’d be a good fit.

  16. Aisha Feb 12 2016 at 5:44 pm #

    Email: aisha.otiti@hotmail.co.uk

    I usually write YA and Adult novella’s (trying to get to novel length)

    I love Fantasy, Historical and a bit of contemporary – just depends on the romance aspect!
    I’m good at giving feedback on Fantasy, as well as romance aspects and some elements of magic in stories.

    I’ve been writing since I was a young teen but only seriously started writing during my Creative Writing degree which I finished in 2014. I’m working on a manuscript but am at the just before stage of querying. I don’t have an agent.

    Myself in five words: Honest, inquisitive, kind, geeky, bubbly

  17. Jessica Feb 12 2016 at 5:54 pm #

    Hi everybody!

    Email address: jessica (dot) minyard @ gmail (dot) com

    Category and genre(s) you write in: YA/NA/MG fantasy and contemporary

    Category and genre you critique/don’t want to critique: Honestly, I’ll crit just about anything if it tickles my fancy!

    Info about your writing background, e.g., how long you’ve been writing, whether you have or have had an agent: I’ve been writing seriously since my teenage years and have a B.A. in creative writing and was just accepted into a MFA program (huzzah!). I’m an indie author and published my first novel, an upper YA fantasy, last year. I have a YA contemporary that I’m preparing for publication right now — it’s getting ready to go out to beta readers! — and a couple other projects still in the drafting/planning stage. Busy bee, is me. I am currently in a local critique group, but we’re not really all on the same page goal-wise with our writing, so I’m looking for someone a little more focused and dedicated to getting words down and drafts finished.

    Yourself in five words: Passionate, meticulous, hilarious (well, I think so), soft-hearted, tenacious

    Strengths as a critique partner: I would say I’m a fairly experienced critique partner, having gone through many workshops in college and beyond. I am always able to balance the positive points of the work with the elements that need some improvement. I am a champion of elements that I love and will probably get emotionally invested in your work! I prefer looking at big picture stuff as a CP, but am not afraid to get nitty-gritty with line edits and will most likely point them out anyway. Heh. I’m always up for intense brainstorming sessions!

    Feel free to stalk me on any social media accounts you’d like (@jl_mizzle) to find out more and see if we might be a good fit. 🙂

  18. Zach J. Payne Feb 12 2016 at 6:47 pm #

    1. ZachJosPayne@gmail.com

    2. Contemporary YA Romance (current WIP is F/F romance)

    3. I’m best with YA, and I’m not much for fantasy or hard sci-fi.

    4. Been writing for about 4 years. No agent yet, but I was accepted into the SCBWI NV mentor program. Hoping to query some time in ’16, would like to sell a book before ’20.

    5. Funny, polymath, romantic, critical, visual.

    6. I’m best with line edits, language, and mechanics.

  19. Silvia Feb 12 2016 at 8:25 pm #

    Email: parksilvia at gmail

    I’m experimenting! Though I have to say, I usually dabble in various shades of fantasy/sci-fi/mystery. Critique-wise, I’m probably a best fit for those genres. Romance and contemporary, less so.

    I’ve been writing seriously for the past five years. I have a fantastic CP group online and I often “sprint” with my CPs through G-chat. We cheer each other on, we belly-ache, we’re comrades-in-arms. My ideal CP is someone who’s willing to go all in and will write almost every day.

    I just finished revising a YA Fantasy for an R&R and I’m looking for fresh eyeballs. Would love to swap!

    Me: open, honest, devoted, sponge, hermit-crab

    Strengths: Big-picture. Definitely, big-picture, in terms of character and plot. I can tell you when a character arc isn’t fully developed or when the plot is meandering, or missing a beat. But I usually try to balance my general critiques with line edits. I’m honest and I don’t hold back, especially if I hope it’ll make the MS stronger, but I’m a fan of the sandwich method–writers should know what’s working before they revise.

    Oh, and I love brainstorming. I’m on G-chat all the time and nothing makes me happier than sprinting with a fellow CP.

    • Nikhi Feb 12 2016 at 8:59 pm #

      I sent you an email 😉

  20. Amanda Feb 12 2016 at 10:07 pm #

    Email address: akfoody@gmail.com

    Category and genre(s) you write in: YA fantasy (usually leaning literary writing, commercial concepts, with unique settings like festivals, steamships, magical cities, etc.)

    Category and genre you critique/don’t want to critique: YA fantasy, sci fi, and spec. I prefer fantasy worlds, but I do like urban fantasy as well. Essentially the closer it is to contemp, the less likely I am to be your gal.

    Info about your writing background, e.g., how long you’ve been writing, whether you have or have had an agent: I’ve been writing all my life, rep’d for about 3 years now. My agent is Brianne Johnson at Writers House. I’m also a freelance editor and an intern at a literary agency. English/Creative Writing degree with a personality probably better suited for STEM (oh well books are more fun).

    Yourself in five words: analytical; enthusiastic; idea-savvy; relaxed; creative

    Strengths as a critique partner: I try to do everything possible to help my CPs achieve their vision of their ms. I can check grammar and such, but I’m more concerned with the aspects that I am enthusiastic about in your project. I am totally your person for all things world-building (I am fascinated by systems, theories, and cogs in a narrative machine); plot; characters; and the actual quality of your writing (like I said above, I like literary writing, so I generally push my CPs on their writing).

    What I’m looking for in a CP: Preferably someone with an agent or someone who has been writing seriously for a long time. My writing career has very recently taken a (exciting) turn, and I need readers who can dig deep and with whom I can bounce ideas off of (via email, chat, phone, Skype, etc). I’m at the point where I am confident in my writing and also have a very thick skin, and ideally I would like to find others who are the same.

    Anyway, email me if you’re interested! Even if we don’t end up working together, I’m friendly and just like chatting with other writers.

  21. Adana Washington Feb 12 2016 at 10:48 pm #

    Hello! I’ve been looking for a CP for a while now, as well as a writing buddy to talk to and brainstorm with.

    Email address: adanawtn@gmail.com
    Category and genre(s) you write in: YA high and urban fantasy
    Category and genre you critique/don’t want to critique: I’m not a fan of sci-fi or contemporary

    I’ve been writing all my life, but I just start writing fiction late in 2014. I recently started querying my second novel, and I’d love to get a read through of it for feedback. I’m in the planning stages of my next novel, but I have a few ideas floating in my head so I’m not quite sure if it’s going to be another high fantasy or urban fantasy. In the last year, I’ve been doing a lot of reading, both of other YA fantasy novels as well as nonfiction on writing and crafting a story. It’s given me a lot of fodder when it comes to honing my writing process and creating a story with structure.

    Yourself in five words: Contemplative, Responsive, Organized, Optimistic, Intuitive

    Strengths as a critique partner: I’m good at moving pieces around in order to make things flow. Whether it’s word choice or scene order, I can look at a piece and see it in different configurations. (I hope that makes sense). In other words, I have good spacial reasoning skills. I’m also a big fan of using tarot to help find the events and ideas that my subconscious wants to bring into the story, which I would love to do for others. I’m also an artist, which comes in handy when it comes to visuals and imagery.

  22. lisa ciarfella Feb 12 2016 at 11:29 pm #

    Hi all,
    So. Here’s a little about me:

    My name is Lisa. You can reach me at lisajohnljc123@gmail.com

    My novel in progress is a mix of mystery, noir, hardboiled, and crime fiction.
    This is also the genre I want to critique in.
    But I will also critique almost any other genre except romance, or poetic, literary type works.

    I am currently getting my MFA at a southern california university.

    Me in 5 words: resilient, tenacious, intellegent, outgoing, athletic.

    Strengths: Because I have been in an MFA program now for a year and a half, and that’s pretty much all we do week in and week out, is critiique each other’s work, I have developed a method to the madness that is sound, reasonable, and helpful.

    If you thnk we are a match, let me know!

    Lisa

  23. Angela Feb 13 2016 at 12:57 am #

    1 Email address: bhelmwrites at gmail dot com

    2 Category and genre(s) you write in: I’m all over the place — YA/NA focused, with (light) Fantasy, Sci Fi, Contemporary, Romance/Erotica and even a re-telling hidden in my Scrivener files. Currently writing: YA Contemporary, NA Romance/Erotica. Completed Manuscripts: Light fantasy (2, though one is a hot mess – a project I wrote for NaNoWriMo that is just a mess and needs to be revised completely), and a re-telling (which needs work/may be permanently shelved due to what I feel is an oversaturation of the market).

    3 Category and genre you critique/don’t want to critique:
    I would have a hard time critiquing High Fantasy in any way that I would feel is helpful. It’s a genre I love to read, but am very particular about, so I’m betting most of my comments would be too vague to be helpful. Also not a fan of horror or crime stories.

    4 Info about your writing background, e.g., how long you’ve been writing, whether you have or have had an agent:
    I’ve been writing my whole life to some degree, with the majority of the last 8 years spent in the midst of various writing projects (and for full disclosure, I wrote a metric ton of fan fiction from 2008-2010 and am part of the class that now has several authors published with big 6 houses #nerdbrag?). As for where I am now: I am refocusing after a year and a half of nothing. I queried and had a difficult time with the way the whole process works, I think largely because I didn’t have the support group I need to feel strong and prepared, despite a manuscript that had been worked and worked with an editor/friend. I put down my pen in late 2014 and really shouldn’t have, but here I am, starting fresh. I do not have an agent, but that is the goal.

    5 Yourself in five words:
    Passionate, Nerdy, Open-minded, Honest, Direct

    Strengths as a critique partner:
    I can do line item edits, but I’m more of a big picture gal. That said, one of my favorite perks of being a CP is being able to pinpoint those small moments in a manuscript that shine.

  24. Alden Feb 13 2016 at 1:04 am #

    Aloha everyone,

    I’m Alden, can be reached at aldenygilroy@gmail.com, or find me on Twitter @aldenygilroy

    Currently I have an adult/NA contemporary MS I’m editing over. Am looking for more folks to review it and see if it works from a big picture perspective. This is my ‘blurb’:

    When 22-year old Sherwin “Diggs” Diggmon agreed to sign his dying town’s petition to host a half-marathon, he didn’t realize he committed to run the race. Though he’s the last guy who should be running, he wants to help attractive rookie race director Marianna Gonzalez succeed. Risking his crumbling self-esteem, he partners with a mysterious shoe-maker to tackle the 13.1 miles of struggle.

    I’d really like to focus on light-hearted contemporary stories, even college drama is fine.

    Have been writing seriously and studying the craft since 2011. I don’t have a MFA but I do have education in computer science, telecommunications, intl relations and language. I’m not agented.

    Resilient, creative, wanderlust, headstrong, optimistic

    As a CP partner I like to review selections from the POV of the reader and can describe whether areas worked well (or not!). Generally I try to see where the author is trying to go and provide other solutions and ideas.

    Thank you!

  25. Aimee Feb 13 2016 at 4:54 am #

    Hi everyone!

    My name’s Aimee. You can contact me at aimeelim808@gmail.com.

    My main WIP is an upper-middle-grade novel about superheroes and the Internet. I’d love to write upper MG but I have all sorts of other projects as well: an MG series inspired by wuxia and Asian action cinema, a 1950s rock-and-roll inspired fantasy, a historical romance against the backdrop of Chinese silent film, etc. In general, I like writing high-concept fiction that plays with genre.

    I’m open to all sorts of things, but I’d be really interested in critiquing urban fantasy, fairy tale retellings, historical fantasy, non-Western fantasy, neo-noir, new twists on pop culture, etc. I don’t think I’d be very good at critiquing high fantasy or hard-sci-fi, though.

    I’ve always loved writing, but I started committing to it more seriously after high school. I’m only a junior in college but thanks to NaNoWriMo, I’ve completed four manuscripts (well, their first drafts). I was just accepted into my school’s Honors program for Creative Writing.

    Myself in five words: passionate, imaginative, overthinker, ambitious, talkative

    Strengths as a critique partner: I’m a remote reader for the MG/YA department of a literary agency, so I have some experience here. My strengths are dialogue, characterization, and spotting cliches. I can provide both line edits and big-picture feedback.

    Feel free to send me an email! You can also check out my ramblings at https://lovecaution.wordpress.com.

  26. RC Feb 13 2016 at 9:23 am #

    1. Email: rchancock at gmail dot com
    2. I write in: accessible YA Fantasy/sci-fi
    3. I critique: YA (Fantasy/sci-fi or anything that interests me) No paranormal romance. No explicit sex, graphic violence, or heavy swearing.
    4. Been writing for 10 years. One YA Fantasy published recently by a small press. “An Uncommon Blue” Currently in between agents. Would like to exchange the first few pages of your latest to see if it’s a good fit.
    5. Nerd, Dad, Blunt, Wildly Attractive, Loyal
    6. I’ve read a lot of craft books, written a lot of crap, and learned to distinguish the good. Am not a cheerleader. Will tell you how it is. But if it’s awesome, I’ll probably also be your cheerleader. 🙂

  27. Holly Feb 13 2016 at 4:11 pm #

    Thanks to Stacey and Stephanie for this opportunity, along with all the good folks at pubcrawl!

    My name is Holly. My email is hsfaber10(at)gmail(dot)com

    I currently have several WIPs at different stages. They are mostly YA, subgenres of Urban Fantasy, Fantasy, and Dystopian. I also have a MG that is Urban Fantasy. I enjoy critiquing the same genres/subgenres, but am open to any story that I find intriguing. I would not be the best fit for erotica, although I do enjoy romance.

    I have been creating stories since I was old enough to read, but only discovered my passion for writing within the last seven years. I’ve written two novels, which I ended up shelving because I wasn’t happy with them and chalked them up to my “practice novels.” I do not have an agent, but would love to change that this year with the help of a great CP to whip my manuscript into shape and hopefully create a lasting writerly friendship along the way.

    myself in five words: strategic, perfectionist, intuitive, analytical, and empathetic

    My greatest strength as a crit partner is understanding the difference between giving feedback on a first draft vs. a final draft and what to expect in-between. I tend to tailor my critiques to what is asked of me and to whatever depth is desired. I’m not afraid to point out what doesn’t jive, but I try to do it in a constructive, friendly manor. If you’d like to exchange a page or two to see if we’d be a good fit, shoot me an email. Otherwise, I’d love to hear from other writers who would just like me to visit their blog, website.. etc. I’m always up for cheering on my fellow writer.

  28. TJ Ohler Feb 14 2016 at 5:06 am #

    Currently writing this half asleep, but excited to see all the CP posts! Good luck all!

    1. tjohler1313@gmail.com
    2. YA contemporary (often with a speculative or magical realism twist)-current project, YA thriller (next project), TV Pilots, Feature scripts

    3) Open to most YA, except dystopian. Love LGBTQIA anything (specifically would love someone versed in the T part of that acronym). Diversity in all YA, no matter the genre. Enjoy adult thrillers, but not most versed in them.

    4) Went to college for Screenwriting (focused mostly on drama pilots and films). Minored in fiction writing (mostly short stories). No agent right now. Haven’t finished a book since high school. Currently working on a YA contemporary from POV of a father and his trans daughter twelve years later.

    5) Quirky. Tired. Gay. Procratinator. Goal-oriented.

    6) Editor’s eye. Have worked on various college novellas for publication and know what’s important is the story you want to tell, not the one I want. Good at seeing big picture edits and character arcs. Want/needs. Catching plot holes and lack of character motivations.
    Good at suggestions and providing feedback.

  29. Kayla Feb 14 2016 at 11:59 pm #

    Hi everyone! My name is Kayla. I’d love to help anyone with their writing, and of course would love some critiques of my own as well!

    1.) kayla3194 at gmail.com

    2.) My current WIP is a YA retelling of Rapunzel, set in a fantasy world where witches and humans are in a decades old war with each other. Most of what I write has some fantasy in it, in either a fictional or contemporary setting, and apart from my WIP I typically write short stories.

    3.) Honestly, I’d love to critique anything. I’d love to be an editor myself so it’s always great to have practice in a variety of genres, right?

    4.) I’ve been writing literally since I knew how to write because I loved to read so much. I haven’t had an agent. I’m a senior in college, majoring in English and minoring in Creative Writing, so I’ve had experience with workshops. I also freelance as an editor online with both commercial pieces and fiction.

    5.) friendly, dreamer, honest, creative, happy.

    6.) Definitely have you covered all over the grammar department. Definitely will help you if you’re stuck in a rut, need someone to talk you out of it, or want to bounce ideas off of someone. I’m also big on making word flow better, dialogue sound natural (well, natural for the type of story you’re trying to tell), and characters anything but flat. I like to balance out my criticism (which would always come with suggestion, not . . harsh words. That isn’t my thing) with comments on the things I love about what I’m reading!

  30. Marina Feb 15 2016 at 2:52 am #

    Hi all! I’ve been expecting this and I’m really excited!

    Email address: eroviana@hotmail.com

    Category and genre(s) you write in: fantasy, science fantasy, science fiction, contemporary (adult but I’m considering YA in the future)

    Category and genre you critique/don’t want to critique: Anything you can throw at me. Seriously. I don’t have experience with Romance but I could give it a go. I read a lot of YA, adult fantasy/sci-fi, a bit of horror and weird literary fiction/magical realism (see Bone Gap and Lexicon). My favourite authors include J.K. Rowling, Robin Hobb, Steven Erikson, Terry Prachett, Holly Black, etc.

    Info about your writing background, e.g., how long you’ve been writing, whether you have or have had an agent: I have an MA in Creative Writing (and currently studying for an MA in Publishing); have done multiple courses in editing, proofreading and creative writing. I’ve been writing since I was in middle school but have only ever completed short stories. My WIP is an urban (and rural) fantasy/sci-fantasy set in modern Greece and it contains sex and violence aplenty. It’s about 66,000 words and not finished I’m afraid. My second WIP is a humorous take on the vampire lore with a chef as a protagonist. It’s about 50k, it has an ending but it needs fleshing out all throughout its middle. I need people who will talk with me (preferably through Skype but email is fine too) about every step of the way: from conception to editing, to querying, to everything. I have published a few of my stories in sff magazines but have never submitted a MS (I haven’t finished anything yet). I should also note that I’m Greek, so English is not my first language. I do have my degrees and experience but I’ll understand if you think I can’t handle your work. I currently work as a Digital Content Editor in one of the big publishers in Greece and as a freelance translator (English to Greek).

    Yourself in five words: insecure/confident (counts for one I guess), fair, honest, fangirl, funny

    Strengths as a critique partner: I have done this a million times for my Creative Writing MA, albeit for shorter pieces, and I was an editor for our literary magazine. I am brutally honest but always kind. I should advise you that I do use humour as a shield but I guess we all need to take our time with each other.

    • Dave Apr 19 2016 at 6:25 pm #

      If you still don’t have a reviewer I might be interested.

      Thanks,

      Dave

      • Marina Apr 20 2016 at 1:58 am #

        Hi Dave, I’m still looking so if you could send me an email following the format of this post to state your writing style and interests I will get back to you soon. You could also send me a page or two of your work and I will do the same; just to see if we match.

        Thanks!

  31. Julia Arimah Feb 15 2016 at 5:02 am #

    Hi! My name is Julia Arimah (you can call me Julz, and I can be found on Twitter at @julzissofetch). My email address is: julzarimah@gmail.com

    My current manuscript it a YA High Fantasy, which I’m nearing the end of the fourth draft of. To summarize, the novel is set in a world where a mafia-like organization has magic and sovereignty, and the story is told from the point of view of the new despot as she takes the throne after her father’s death. I would love to find a CP who is good with grammar and language. I’ve been writing since I was twelve, and over the years I’ve penned many WIPs, but my current one is certainly the first that I hope to eventually query.
    I love all genres that fall under the YA Speculative Fiction umbrella–from Fantasy to Sci-fi to Dystopians and Post Apoc. My interests run the whole gamut, and I’m happy to read and critique anything speculative.

    Five words that describe me would be: overthinker, passionate, compassionate, honest, & funny (I try)

    I think my greatest strength as a CP is that I have an attentive eye for detail and am also quick to spot plot holes, inconsistencies in characters, worldbuilding e.t.c. I’ll be honest, but never rude or mean, and I always make sure to mention the positives as well as anything that may need work. You can expect timely, constructive critiques from me that point out the flaws and offer suggestions, but also let you know what you’re doing right. I’m also more than happy to be there outside of the critique to talk to about all things writing, editing, querying, and life in general. If you need someone to brainstorm with or just cheer you on, I’ll be there.

  32. Stephanie Feb 17 2016 at 12:14 pm #

    Hi, Everyone. My name is Stephanie. I am a K-12 School Librarian with an overflowing TBR on my too small bedside table. I have been writing off and on for several years but decided to get serious this past year. Unfortunately, the more I write, the more I find that I need to learn. Isn’t that the way of it.

    I have two WIP. One is a YA Sci-fi that is approaching half finished and one romance that I can’t seem to stop working on. Maybe this is part of my problem. Bi-polar writing.

    I prefer YA but am open to other genres. I feel I would be the most helpful with fantasy, dystopian, sci-fi and horror. I can give contemporary a go but would not list as my strong suit. I have no agent currently.

    I am looking for a critique partner that is interested in “big picture” elements. I find I need help with plot and character arc. My YA character arc seems to be a straight line. I know this is a bad thing. I would like someone struggling with similar issues so we can learn and improve together. I am a Journalism major and can do line edits if desired. I also am a busy mom and wife and need some time in between writing goals. I am expected to put dinner on the table at some point, maybe.

    Me in a nutshell? Reader, Dreamer, Hard worker, Passionate about literature and eager to learn!

    If you would like to contact me, reach me here. Thanks for reading~
    quinnsl@yahoo.com

  33. Jane Kim Heysun Feb 18 2016 at 5:45 am #

    Hi, I hope it’s not too late for this, as next, I shall be bugging a lot of you. Why do you all sound like my Perfect Match?!

    I’m Jane Kim and I write YA fantasy, sci-fi, contemporary. I adore Susanna Clarke and Connie Willis. And Donna Tartt and Megan Whalen Turner and Lev Grossman. And of course, Terry Pratchett. I’m learning from the best.

    Genres y/n: I read anything/ everything. I write YA, but mostly I read a lot of literary and mainstream fiction, along with the sf/f. I’ve even critiqued erotica in the past, for friends, but I don’t think I’d be that good at it. And possibly not very useful with hard-core military fiction either (or sumfin).

    Everyone’s been writing since they were twelve. I only gave myself permission to write fiction when I was 29. In grad school. Because anything is better than writing a dissertation, even the dreaded STORY. It’s been rolling down the hill in a barrel with rocks and monkeys innit ever since. No, but seriously, in between bouts of teaching English Lit and Crit, moving to yet another country, teaching more college writing, I’ve since then put in my 10,000 hours of apprenticeship. Lots of unfinished novels, three (shortish) finished ones, and finally, the novel of my heart came together last year. I think the fifth draft was the ticket.

    Presently I am revising that 110k monster, and will think about agents after that. This year.

    Yourself in five words: Independent, funny, introverted, (and, according to my husband) analytical, kind.

    Strengths as a critique partner: An eye to freshness and how one can write well known things in an original way. Character development and inconsistencies. Whether the plot flows, where it hits a snag. Voice.

    I could do grammar, but really this would put me in school teacher mode (nitpicky), and I’m more interested in big picture critique, giving and receiving, how the story and the writing works.

    I will be closed-door writing for the next few months with the total rehaul/rewrite, but can do a first few chapter swap to see if we’re a good fit. If you’re interested, you can reach me at froglivers @ gmail . com

    • Jane Kim Hyesun Apr 28 2016 at 7:02 am #

      thanks, y’all. I’ve found what I’m looking for.

  34. Kelsey Feb 19 2016 at 12:02 am #

    1. kelsey.blodget@gmail.com

    2. YA fantasy

    3. Ideally YA fantasy but flexible!

    4. I majored in creative writing and classical studies in college and have been working as an editor (in media, not books) for eight years. Completed a historical thriller in 2013 and got some R&R requests but ultimately no rep. Just finished a YA fantasy novel (I love both historical fiction and fantasy, I guess because both require such fun world building? Also I’m a travel writer/editor professionally, so setting is always a big part of the inspiration for me). Trying really hard to be patient and not jump the gun this time, and looking for critique partners!

    5. Optimistic, enthusiastic, determined, efficient, resilient

    6. I think I have a good handle on what type of feedback is most useful at what stages in the writing process. I won’t give you line edits when you are on a first draft, because you’ll probably be overhauling stuff later anyway. Good at helping solve gnarly plot problems and always keep my eye on the big picture plot/character arcs. (Note that when the time comes, I can absolutely do line edits — I do lots of them at work all day!)

  35. Dave Apr 13 2016 at 5:44 pm #

    Hello,

    Ah, the power of google searches.

    I don’t know if there is still room but I am interested in partaking in this undertaking.

    1.Email address
    In code here…(spam prevention)…The Write Dave (at) gmail dot com

    2.Category and genre(s) you write in
    Scifi, Fantasy, Anything Interesting

    3.Category and genre you critique/don’t want to critique
    Please no sparkling vampire werewolves

    4.Info about your writing background, e.g., how long you’ve been writing, whether you have or have had an agent
    I have been fiddling for about 10 years now. No agent as of yet.

    5.Yourself in five words
    Brutally-Honest, Father, Busy, Mindful, and Nerd

    6.Strengths as a critique partner
    I excel and pointing out plot holes and finding the early stuff. I ain’t that good when it comes to the line by line cleanup. (ain’t ain’t a word but you get what I mean)

    (CROSSING FINGERS THIS PANS OUT INTO SOMETHING)

    Thanks,

    Dave

  36. Jess H Apr 19 2016 at 1:58 pm #

    HI! My name is Jess.

    1. jessharley219 (at) gmail (dot com)

    2. I write PB and MG. My WIP is a MG ‘light’ mystery about a 12 year old girl who finds out she is adopted and tries to piece together who her birth parents might be. Right now I need to know what works/doesn’t work, big picture thoughts, ideas, ect.

    3. I can critique PB and MG, no fantasy.

    4. I have been writing for 3 years and currently unagented. I work on critiques in a tight-knit PB critique group, but really want to focus on my MG right now.

    5. Imaginative, funny, organized, colorful, thoughtful

    6. As a critique partner, I like to help with specific edits – I am really good at cutting words – but I REALLY love helping when someone is stuck and needs new ideas to mull over. I love reading mystery and humor-based books.

    Thank you!!!

  37. Maggie Apr 27 2016 at 4:21 pm #

    Hi,
    My name is Maggie. I have a first draft of a 60K women’s fiction novel that straddles literary fiction. It’s a combined love story/coming-of-age story. I intend this to be three books and am already half-way through the second book. I would love more sets of eyes on this. I don’t need editing as much as general feedback about characterization, plot, pacing, etc.

    e-mail: msmaggiebrooke@gmail.com

    Category and genre(s): women’s fiction/romance/literary fiction

    Category and genre you critique/don’t want to critique: horror and science fiction (unless it’s a hybrid romance/science fiction)

    Info about your writing background: I’ve been writing my whole adult life in some capacity. Until this novel it was almost exclusively non-fiction, including some books. I do not have an agent.

    Yourself in five words: insightful, creative, intelligent, tenacious, humorous

    Strengths as a critique partner: I edit for pay in real life and am good at catching obscure errors. I also am great at shrinking a manuscript. I have been told more times than I can count that I am a very constructive editor and reader. I won’t shred your work, even if you want me to. It’s not my style :). I believe knowing what works it just as important as knowing what doesn’t work.

  38. Lindsey Whitlock May 17 2016 at 6:59 pm #

    1. lindseyalyce (at) gmail dot com

    2. Right now, I’m revising a YA novel, but I’ve written both middle grade and adult fiction in the past. I love them all. My work skews toward the literary side, but I love to reimagine things; alternative histories or magical realism often play a role in my work.

    3. I’m not interested in critiquing horror or erotica

    4. I have been writing several years, but my current manuscript is the first book I am seriously trying to publish

    5. Contrary, Open, Pleasure-seeking, Willful, Glad

    6. I am a diligent worker with clear eyes (as a reader). I care about good writing. I care about good stories. I like to work constructively to bring out the best in a writer’s voice and imagination.

    • Taylor May 18 2016 at 2:45 am #

      Currently dead tired and falling asleep, but I wanted to write this before I forgot. My bio is under “Taylor” from above, but not like that tells you much. If you’re interested in YA sci fi, drop me an email and we can sample a few chapters!

      Taylor.Skvarek[at]gmail[dot]com

  39. Shante May 23 2016 at 7:54 pm #

    Email address: frenchverb3 [at] gmail [dot] com

    Category and genre(s) you write in: I mostly write YA, but I also write some MG and may dabble in NA (but not the erotic/romance novels that currently saturate that category). I mostly write contemporary, but I also have some fantasy, sci-fi, and magical-realism-ish ideas I’m excited to write.

    Category and genre you critique/don’t want to critique: I’ll critique virtually anything YA or MG, except for horror. NA in the vein of FANGIRL. Contemporary is my sweet spot, but I also like fantasy and sci-fi and would happily read and critique them.

    Info about your writing background: I’ve been writing novel-length stories for over 8 years now. Never had an agent, and I just started querying for the first time. (Like, last week.) It’s not nerve-racking at all. The project I’m querying is a contemporary YA about a kleptomaniac, and the project I’m currently drafting is a contemporary YA about a girl whose father tries to kill her and then kills himself.

    Yourself in five words: Nerdy, friendly, passionate, writer (har har), funny (I find myself pretty hilarious, not gonna lie)

    Strengths as a critique partner: I’ve been a critique partner before. I know how it works. I took classes in college that required critiquing others’ work, and my job for 3 years was essentially helping people improve their writing. Not to brag, but I’m a semi-professional.

    I miss having critique partners. I love gushing about writing and characters and books and video games and movies and life. I’d love to find that special someone with whom I can share this crazy journey. I love getting amazing, helpful feedback on my novels, but I also love having friends. Especially writer friends because writers tend to be the best people I know. Please don’t be afraid to email me! I’m friendly, I swear. I’d love to hear from you. 🙂

    • Dave May 23 2016 at 8:15 pm #

      Hello Shante,

      I’m going to be blunt… you sound fun.

      Check me out (my personality – eyes up here) at my blog http://www.TheWriteDave.Com and get back to me if you are interested.

      • Shante May 24 2016 at 10:35 am #

        Hey Dave,

        I’m going to be blunt… I am. 😉

        I will definitely go check out your personality right now. Thanks for the response!

        • Dave Jun 2 2016 at 6:26 pm #

          Hello Shante,

          I sent you an email reply over a week ago. I am just trying to reach out should you still be interested.

          Thanks,

          Dave

  40. Travis Casey May 26 2016 at 10:07 pm #

    traviscasey1074@yahoo.co.uk

    Hi, I’m Travis:

    I write romantic comedy/suspense and did write a couple of satirical memoirs because life was throwing me such a comical curves at the time it would have been criminal not to write about it. Basically, all my writing contains a certain level of humor and my stories are character driven.

    I like stories that stay in the realms of reality and are believable, even if it’s a bit of a stretch. So things like sci-fi, fantasy, vampires, supernatural or weirdo stuff are off my reading list. Don’t get me wrong, I think people who can write that kind of thing are gifted with a unique imagination – unfortunately, mine doesn’t stretch that far.

    I began writing articles for an online knowledge and entertainment source in 2006 and continually found myself drawn to the creative writing section, namely humor and satire. Once I cut my teeth good and proper, I wrote my naval memoirs. (Nine years in Uncle Sam’s canoe club left me with a lot of material.) After being rejected by fifteen agents, I joined an online critiquing group to improve my skills. Several weeks into reworking the manuscript, someone asked me who was going to buy the memoirs of a nobody? He had a point. I’m a writer, not an egomaniac. If my ego was that big I’d run for President. But I had a good basis for fiction. Write about what you know, right? At least to start out with. So I moved to fiction and wrote Tyler’s Trouble Trilogy, the story of a young sailor for a panache for trouble navigating his way through life with adventures around the world. The first two in the series were mostly about fun, then the third one moved into a full-blown romance.

    I am an American, but moved to England in 1992 and lived there happily until 2014 when I was persuaded to move to Minnesota to be near ailing parents. That inspired two more books. I recently completed my sixth book, which I co-authored with a female writer where we alternated chapters. I’m currently working on my seventh book. This is the first time I’ve written in third person, and on top of that I’m having motivation issues. I write better (quicker) when I know someone is on the other end waiting to read the next installment. That’s why I’m here. To hook up with someone to exchange work to keep both of us cranking out the next page.

    I’ve submitted most of my books to agents at some stage, but have quit counting the number of rejections. It’s probably somewhere in excess of seventy. I have gone on to self-publish my work, but I’m still looking to land that book deal. I’m not a blockbuster kind of writer, but I’d settle for validation as an in print entertainer by a publishing house.

    I have a lot of experience as a critter. I’m honest and sometimes blunt, but it’s better to hear it from a fellow writer before it’s published than from some buttsniff on Amazon after the publish button has been pushed. Fresh eyes often offer different ideas that can add depth to the story. I’m also an excellent cheerleader. Pointing out what’s right is just as important as knowing what’s wrong.

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