A blog about the amazing things teenagers do, about writing for teens, books for teens, and occasional forays into my world and the world of publishing.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Critique Contest!

As promised, I'm holding a contest to win a critique from me and my fabulous critique partners. To give you some idea of what you'll be getting, let me introduce my critique group members and what role they play in our group.

Val Serdy is the tough one. She's a freelance editor with her own editing company, Egg and Feather, and she KNOWS HER STUFF. A critique with Val may leave you feeling like you've been run over by a truck, but if you survive, you've somehow figured out the meaning of life and you have what you need to move on. If you have any research questions, go to Val. For example, if you need to know what year the phrase "okay" became widely used, Val will find out. If you need a book that's similar to what you're writing, Val knows what that is.

Joan Wittler, with her background in art and theater, is the master of all things visual. If a scene doesn't work on a visual level, she'll tell you, and then act it out for you. Joan is the calm voice of reason when things get crazy (and they do).

Blessy Mathew has an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College. She's very detail-orientated. She's great at sentence structure, fantasy, and multicultural characters. She always provides a clear, calm, and precise critique.

Sarah Showell deserted our group for adventures in Africa, but she stays in touch via e-mail and still exchanges critiques with our group. She'll give it to you straight if something isn't working, and before she left she played opposite Joan in many a scene reconstruction. She's good at reminding you to up the stakes.

And then there's me. I'm the kind of person who likes most of what I read, so I play cheerleader. Thanks to what I've learned from my editor, I know when the pacing of a story is off. I'm always around to tell you when you're letting your characters off too easy, or they aren't solving their own problems.


This is your chance to win a critique of up to 15 pages from these fabulous ladies (and me). Here's how it works. You get an entry for each comment you leave on my blog, Val's blog, Blessy's blog, or Sarah's blog. You also get an entry for each time you become a follower on one of our blogs, on twitter, or if you "like" my facebook page. If you tweet or facebook this contest you also get an entry. (Use @jenniferswolf in your tweet or tag Jennifer Shaw Wolf author.)

The winner will be taken from a random drawing of all the entries, then will be announced on December 6th. The critique will happen in January (or any time after that's convenient to the winner and our group). If you live in the Seattle area you're invited to join us in person for one of our critique sessions, we'll even buy you something to drink from Starbucks. If you don't live close enough, your critique will be on-line.

Enter early, enter often, and good luck. I promise the critique will be worth your time!

***ONE NOTE we all write Middle Grade or Young Adult so those are the genres we're most qualified to critique. We're willing to do chick lit, sci fi or fantasy, but not erotica. ***


  1. Thank you for the wonderful contest! I am excited to enter...now off to hop over and visit the other blogs!

  2. this is something i will definaley be participating in!!

  3. I love a good Contest!! Great idea... :)

  4. As I said on Val's blog...


    As I've said before, I've wanted to visit your group for a long time, and if this is what it takes, this is what it takes.

    So, sign me up, because I want that critique. And hey, I'm used to Val, so my chances of survival are higher, right? Right?

  5. Hi! I found you through Val's blog :-) and she's said such good things about IMO that I'm all excited at the chance of winning a session with you guys. Thanks for running the contest, great idea.
    Kathy Manchip