Saturday, November 6, 2010

Critique Requested: All Because of You

TITLE: All Because of You


GENRE: Thriller

DESCRIPTION: Please read full query here.

CRITIQUE REQUESTED: First chapter (26 pages), primarily looking for critique on the hook and introduction of protagonist and antagonist.

CONTACT INFO: or by email:

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Critique Request- Little Nightmares

TITLE: Little Nightmares

WORD COUNT: 70,000

GENRE: YA Urban Fantasy

DESCRIPTION: This is a story about three paranormal youngins as as they explore a haunted house, and in a general sense about how their lives are affected by their abilities. Query, with a better description, is available at The Public Query Slushpile:

CRITIQUE REQUESTED: Its first draft material so right now, I'm really just wondering what works with the story and what doesn't. Does it hold up? Is it worth trying to draft to something salable? That sort of thing. A general critique I suppose.

CONTACT INFO: smithr10(at)concord(dot)edu or ryan.m.smith1986(at)gmail(dot)com

Friday, March 19, 2010



3,000 WORDS


About fifteen months ago my dad asked me to write a story for him, and knowing his love of Faerie Tales, I gave it a shot. The end result was a MG short story. I don’t do MG. Not even YA. But, I was pleased enough with the result, I submitted it to my writers group, and with their help, I polished it up into a story worthy of publication. So I queried Bewildering Stories exclusively - really, it is my first and only pick for the work.

The response time said minimum four months. So, I gave up when I didn’t hear from them after six months. The e-mail I got was really quite exciting. Bill apologized for the long response time, told me the story had “made the rounds” within the agency, and he was including the crits of the various people that had read the story. General consensus: Marketable concept; strong, believable characters; mixed reviews on the plot; but definite no on the dream presentation.

Do I agree with the feedback, and would I be willing to rewrite (minor tweaking really) and resubmit? It took all my willpower not to immediately respond: OMGOMGOMG heck yes! I did a whole lot of mundane chores around the house while I thought of just the right professional response; and exactly what the minor tweaking might entail. Then I very professionally (I hope anyway) said: Thank you for your feedback and this opportunity to correct the misconception that this is a dream, and I’ll be happy to revise and resubmit. Mr. Bowler’s reply was basically: be sure it is clear the experience is not a dream, but an alternate reality; and good luck.

I’ve thought about it long enough I have some ideas. But, I’m nervous and scared I might screw it up. So, I’m asking for some help.

I feel like I’m on a deadline, though I haven’t been given one, and want to get this back to the e-zine quickly. I’m thinking before the end of March. So, anyone who can’t give a response on a 3,000 word short story in say, less than a week (6 days), don’t push yourself to try. I DO NOT want a full critique. Most of what I’ve written apparently has worked for the magazine.

Your mission, should you choose to accept, is to read the feedback from the various readers and offer suggestions on the “tweaking” of making it an alternate reality, not a dream. And yes, the dream quality was definitely not intentional.

Here’s a brief synopsis.

Ten year old Tommy Thurman’s normal home life has taken a disastrous turn when his older brother is diagnosed with a growth disorder. Within two years, the younger brother is bigger, stronger, and more emotionally stable. This change in circumstance sits well with neither brother.

As Peter’s physical limitations become more pronounced and he becomes a target for bullies and insensitive classmates and family members, Tommy’s moral and family expectations drive him to step into the role of big brother protector. His heart is willing, but sometimes, Tommy is overwhelmed by the role reversal, and more comfortable with prayer for guidance than curses at fate to fulfill his obligations.

Beset with doubts and questions about his own loyalties, Tommy is unexpectedly given a glimpse into a future where his overstressed brother takes a gun to school and shoots the bully. The choice before Tommy is to decide if he believes enough to act on his premonition; or do nothing, and allow the fates to determine his future for him.

A short deadline; I know. If you can’t do it; don’t. And don’t feel guilty either. If you’re willing to accept the short challenge and offer feedback on how to make this story NOT a dream, contact me at donnahole at gmail dot com. I’ll send you the editorial feedback and the story itself.

This is my weekend project; and I’ll be working on it regardless of the response.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Critique Request-RUDY TOOT-TOOT


WORD COUNT: 16,000 words

GENRE: Children's chapter book (ages 7-10)

DESCRIPTION: Rudy Toot-Toot has a special power, almost like a super hero: he can fart better than anyone in the whole world.  It comes natural when you are born on a bean farm.  His problem is that while he can fart on command, he can't ever hold it in when he needs to...or control the power of a Big One.  After one monstrous emission scares all the customers away from the family Bean Market, it's up to Rudy to find a way to use his special power to lure them back, before the bank takes away their home.

CRITIQUE REQUESTED: What's funny and what's not.  In earlier drafts I tried to avoid being crass, and I ended up avoiding humor as well.  Also looking for comments on the flow and the voice in general.

CONTACT INFO: rjdaley101071 at gmail dot com

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Critique Request- THE ELEANOR STORY




On her fourteenth birthday, Ellie Cummings had one amazing, seventy-two second kiss and three days later she was officially the slut of St. Vincent’s Academy.

Considering Ellie does nothing but drop her eyes to the floor when a boy even looks in her direction, Sister Clarisse’s message swam straight over her head. That is until the movie following the nun’s speech.

Ellie was in an utter state of panic the moment the words flashed across the screen:

The Eleanor Story: A Story Of A Girl Who’s Reputation Got In The Way Of Her Relationship With God.

Translate that into eighth grade terms- the girl was easy and boy crazy and she’d rather be kissing than praying. And she had her name! All Ellie can do is hope everyone will forget The Movie.

It might have worked if Justin Sampson, Ellie’s best summer pal hadn’t transferred to her school.

It only takes three days and she has officially gone from Ellie to Eleanor and the mysterious HailMary22 has created a blog in her honor: Guess Eleanor Cummings Next Man. Rumors and lies fill the pages of the blog and Ellie can’t escape from an outcome she never asked for.

Now she has to the make the decision, hide from HailMary22 or stand up for herself for the first time in her life.

TYPE OF EDITS: Any and all suggestions. Story would be number one and then miss use of words, telling rather than showing. It is a more girlie book (though I would mind having a male opinion) and someone who has read or understands YA.

CONTACT INFO: wannabewriter2009 at gmail  dot com

Monday, January 18, 2010

Critique Request- Killing Time on the Highway, Thriller

TITLE: Killing Time on the Highway


GENRE: Thriller

DESCRIPTION: Minnesota State Patrol investigator takes on the case of his lifetime when a bloody highway shootout leaves behind eight dead bodies—and nearly $300 million in euros. After his last assignment, a disaster that left his partners dead and his career on life support, Cade jumps at the opportunity for redemption, recognizing this will either be his biggest—or his final case.

As Cade gets close to uncovering the money's owner, there's a problem: the owner wants his money back and is willing to do whatever it takes. To slow down Cade's investigation, a catastrophic attack is launched using automatic weapons and a stolen Hummer on the Twin Cities' busiest highway during rush hour by four of the cruelest men to ever crawl into daylight. With Cade and the entire city reeling, international thief Martin Clements is planning to break into Patrol headquarters to steal the money back.


CONTACT INFO: Allan Evans (allan at docevans dot com)

Critique Request- Mylar, Children's Picture Book



GENRE: Children's Picture Book

DESCRIPTION: Today is the best day of Mylar’s life. Today he is being taken home. Mylar, a fun-loving balloon, is finally given a warm home. Just as soon as he gets comfortable, he is swept away and loses his best friend, Jamie. This journey follows Mylar as he searches favorite children’s play spots, like the ballpark and playground, for his best friend, while battling Mother Nature and loss of hope. Despite feeling down and giving up, Mylar manages to find his friend and home, much to the help of the reader rooting aloud for him.

CRITIQUE REQUESTED: General feedback, everything, and/or anything

CONTACT INFO: jonathonarntson at gmail dot com

Monday, January 11, 2010


If you are looking for a critique partner, this is a great place to start your search.  Simply enter a comment to this post with the following information, and I will create a unique post for it.  People interested in offering a critique of your work can enter comments on that post to let the author know how to contact them, or the author can provide contact info for the critiquers to reach out directly in the submission template. 

Submission form template:




DESCRIPTION: (500 words max)

CRITIQUE REQUESTED: (line edit, general feedback, plot holes, voice, continuity, everything, etc.)

CONTACT INFO: (This blog is a place to solict feedback and make connections, I will leave it to the author and the critiquer to exchange the manuscript and feedback directly.  To avoid spam, I suggest writing your email address long hand, e.g myname at domain dot com)

Seeking Writers Seeking Critique Partners

If you have a written work that need to be critiqued, you've come to the write place (ha!).

Here's how it works:

There is a "Submissions" link on the right side of this blog.  If you click on it, it will take you to a post with a submission template.  Enter a comment on that post with the relevant information and I will enter it as a full post on this blog.  Then, if anyone is interested in critiquing your work, they can comment on the post to let you know. 

Critters- Look through the labels and find works in genres that you are comfortable critiquing.  If any of the posts sound like something you would enjoy reading, contact the author to let them know.