Submit Yourself

If you’ve got a novel that is close to ready, you need honest feedback and lots of it. Preferably from people who aren’t going to blow sunshine up your a$$.

This week you’ve got four opportunities for critiques from industry professionals. Try one, try ’em all. Every single one is worth your time.

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Have you ever played the game Red Light, Green Light? Every so often Cynthea Liu offers the “writerly” version on her blog, Writing for Children and Teens. 

Here’s how it works:

  1. You submit the first 125 words of your novel or PB.
  2. Cynthea assigns you a number and posts the results on her blog.
  3. If the first 125 words got her interested, you get to submit 250 more words.
  4. If her bunny Snoop eats your submission (as in you didn’t hook her with your prose), you can start again with a new book.

Cynthea has read more than 180 submissions since she started the game on May 18. Talk about paying it forward! I’m thrilled to have made it through the first five rounds, especially since an agent from ABLA is reportedly hanging around checking out entries as well. June 1st is the last day to enter with new submissions so if you want to get in on the fun, head over to her blog for all the rules and get your submission in before midnight! Everyone who enters gets a free-tique of their work once the game is over. Sweet!

Sourcebooks is also offering a free (sort of) critique as part of a promotion for first time author Steven Markley’s new book, aptly titled, PUBLISH THIS BOOK. First you have to buy the book (but come on people, this is WAY less expensive than, say, attending SCBWI! And you’re supporting a new author. Bonus!). Then you submit proof of purchase to Sourcebooks along with an outline and the first chapter of your novel (up to 5,000 words). In return, you are guaranteed a critique of your submission. Pretty cool, huh? Submissions must be received by June 9.

And if that’s not enough fun for you, check out this opportunity over on Query Tracker. Agent Kathleen Ortiz will critique the first chapter and a one-sentence pitch for 100 Query Tracker followers. Submissions open at 9pm EST on Tuesday, June 1. The first hundred to get their pages in will find out where and why she stopped reading. If she likes your manuscript, she might even ask to see more!

Finally, writer/editor Karen Gowen wants to celebrate her good fortune by purchasing and reviewing your published book. But if you’re not published, she will critique the first three chapters of a finished manuscript along with the query letter that you’ve written to go with it. You need to enter this contest today because she’ll be announcing the winner on June 1.

So what are you waiting for? Start submitting!!

13 thoughts on “Submit Yourself

  1. Thanks for the awesome info. Though so much these days is for YA or MG authors, I actually found one to enter thanks to you! 🙂 And I'm hoping someone will do one of those red light, green light contests for authors of adult fiction one of these days. That sounds great!

  2. TerryLynn: Thanks–and good luck entering!

    Katie: Hope you can use the links and thank you 🙂

    Tricia: Yes, I'm happy about that 😀

    Shelley: RLGL is so great for analyzing each page individually.

    Tess: Yes — much further than last time I played!

    Kay: Thank you!

    Lisa K: I'm so glad you found one that you can enter! Yay!

    Anita: Just got back from the beach with the family, so yeah, we had a great day 🙂 Hope you did too!

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